Takeshi Hanatani was born and grew up in the historical city of Kyoto, Japan. While exploring Australia for 9 months in his twenties, he encountered many wild animals that were very rare where he was raised. He realized the beauty of wild animals and his passion discovered to shoot wildlife photographs.

In 1998, after teaching himself photography in Japan, he headed to Canada and spent one year. It was a time for him to search for a direction in his photographs. He drove across the continent from the west coast to the east coast and started capturing wildlife. He then decided to spend the rest of the time in the Canadian Rockies. He discovered that he was becoming attracted by bears and as a result his focus naturally moved further north to the region such as Alaska and the far north of Canada.

In the summer of 2001, he was eventually in the backcountry of Alaska where he had dreamed of visiting for a long time. After that he had exhibitions in Japan couple of times and visited Alaska and Yukon several times. After taking photographs in the far north, he had to return to Japan due to his status as a visitor in other countries. That made him frustrated because his soul was always in the far north and he began to dream of living there someday.

The dream came true in 2007 when he became a permanent resident of Canada. That allows him to stay in Canada as much as he wants. After spending 3 years in the Canadian Rockies once again, he relocated to the place where he had dreamed for a long long time – the Yukon.

He is not only focusing on biology but also capturing wildlife dramatically and poetically in their natural habitat. He tries to express the meaning of life through taking photographs of wildlife which lives in the severe northern environment. He is searching for a way to express that humans live together with nature as a part of the ecosystem of the Earth.




京都生まれ京都育ち。

20代半ばオーストラリアに9ヶ月間滞在中に野生動物の美しさに魅了され、あるがままに生きる野生の姿を写真に収めるべく帰国後写真を独学。

1998年カナダに一年間滞在しながら撮影活動を開始。西海岸から東海岸まで車で横断ののち、残りの期間をカナディアンロッキーで過ごす。次第に熊に魅せられ更なる北の大地アラスカや極北カナダに惹かれ始める。

2001年に初めてアラスカでひと夏を過ごし、以後度々アラスカやカナダのユーコン準州を訪れる。日本で数回個展を開催するも心は常に極北の地にあり、2007年カナダへ移住し活動の拠点を移す。当初3年間は再びカナディアンロッキーに暮らし、2010年ついにユーコン準州へ転居。

極北の厳しい自然環境の中で生きる野生動物の姿を追いながら、《生きる》ということがどういうことであるかを表現している。《人間》対《自然》ではなく、人間も自然の一部として他の生きものたちと如何に《共生》していくかを模索している。



Special thanks to my friend Christina Sjögren, the professional documentary photographer, to take the profile portrait picture.