Look at these Coin Sculptures Defying the Laws of Gravity

Japanese Artist Tanu shares his unique and inspiring coin sculptures on Twitter.
Mario L. Major
The photo credit line may appear like thisthumb_tani/Twitter

An artist is proving that simple metal coins — as well as an extraordinary eye for detail — is all that one requires for creating unique, thought-provoking, and elegant pieces of sculpture.

In our current times, with the advent of 3D effects and extremely sophisticated video editing technology, there seems to be an endless supply of tech-centered applications, devices, and software which allow people to create one stunning image after another. Precisely, due to this very reason, the painstaking time and labor that went into one artist’s gravity-defying sculptures, make the artworks worthy of supreme attention. 

The artist, a Japanese man who goes by the name of Tanu, is the genius behind the creations. Fortunately, he has generously shared his works on Twitter:

The sculptures made using the metal coins are impressive in a visually hypnotic way. Tanu creates pieces that seem to have a life of their own, with the stacks blending into each other so seamlessly that it becomes difficult to tell where one ends and the next one begins.

He manages, somehow, to balance large sections on top of one another, with sometimes only one or two coins holding them up!

Ironically, one of the sculptures with the most tension in the execution and construction seem to have some of the fewest coins used (a quick scan of the piece reveals that there roughly 18 coins). Tanu appears to have made a rough outline of a man, balancing two coins in the midsection between two other angled coins that are supported by a toothpick. The upper half appears as a stacked pyramid of coins which form a rough outline of body armor, with a symbolic 1-yen coin standing on top. Incredibly, the coins which represent the three areas of the body are stacked vertically. One could perhaps argue that the decision to place the 500-yen coin in the middle is an expression that the heart is the most important.

Without a doubt the most gravity-defying and physics-defying (and while we’re at it, logic-defying) piece. Three coins sit in perfect balance and harmony, supporting a flimsy toothpick which seems to hold the two coins at both ends in perfect balance. at the artist with the steady hands in action:


Tanu Expands the Boundary of Physics

Though many would argue that the artist is merely demonstrating, albeit, in a more elaborate form, the basics of movement, inertia, and friction that make up the first of Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion, Tanu goes much further through his configurations. To provide a different type of example: though many of us at some point have stacked a few dominoes to understand the basic laws of physics or to simple amuse ourselves, this is much different than a large-scale execution of a domino trick with tens of thousands of pieces set up. It is this combination of pushing physics boundaries and pushing artistic boundaries which makes the pieces so compelling. Not quite a trick of the eye, and yet also not a purely visual effect, the sculptures capitalize on the artist’s obvious knowledge of physics, engineering, and design.


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