Takao Tanabe has been a leading figure in Canadian art for over sixty years. Born in 1926 in Seal Cove, British Columbia, Tanabe was interned by the Canadian Government with his family and many other Japanese-Canadians during World War II. The end of the war took the artist further east, to the Winnipeg School of Art, graduating in 1949. He pursued further artistic studies in New York under Hans Hoffman, London, and Japan, where he learned Japanese ink painting (sumi-e) and calligraphy.
Takao Tanabe (b. 1926) is an important figure in Canadian painting and printmaking. Tanabe creates landscape paintings of the British Columbia coast, eliminating non-essential details, creating serene compositions which reward long contemplation. He is well known for his transcendent light and atmosphere, which fluctuates from delicate and misty to stormy and brooding. Dominated by strong horizons and large swaths of water and sky, his works are devoid of man-made elements such as cars, telephone poles, and architectural structures.