Born in Tokyo, Fumio Tanai received a degree in Photography from Tokyo Polytechnic University, where he studied under the photographer Eikoh Hosoe. Through Eikoh Hosoe, he was enlightened to how artistic expression is created. Fumio Tanai's encounter with Daido Moriyama was also decisive.
Receiving an Art Fellowship from the Japanese Government, Fumio Tanai lived in China in 1996 and London in 2005-2006. His extensive international projects done in China, England, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan have been exhibited in Japan and France since 1990. He currently lives in United States, spending the majority of his time in New York.
Since his beginning, Fumio Tanai has explored the role of photography in connecting the self to others and has demonstrated an enigmatic appeal that allows us to penetrate in social reality. Fumio Tanai's street photography manages to capture the sensitivity of ordinary people and the depth of their identities.