Biography

Ken WADA was born in 1963 in Matudo, Chiba Prefecture, Japan

He started to study Japanese calligraphy under an excellent calligrapher Shibano at the age of 6. Despite being a mischievous boy, young WADA somehow never missed a calligraphy lesson. He attended passionately for seven years until he moves to Tokyo. Lessons were held on Sundays in Shibano’s annex that resembled a temple school, private elementary school in the Edo period. Simple desks were placed on tatami mats, and students sat straight and wrote single-mindedly from 8am for about four hours. Shibano never mentioned grades to trigger students’ motivation; instead, he just made students repeatedly write and hand in their works to be marked with red ink. Over time, WADA discovered joy in the act of concentrating on writing. It was an unforgettable moment for him when Shibano wrote “tokon,” fighting spirit, on a piece of paper and gave it to him during the last lesson before he moved to Tokyo. He thinks that the origin of his creative activity lies in those seven years.

After that, WADA had been physically active, but his career in art suddenly started at the age of 39 when he heard his inner voice. He studied drawing and oil painting under Shiro Koizumi at L’Art Vérité in Tokyo.

In April 2004, WADA moved to France. From 2004 to 2007, he studied drawing and oil painting under R. A. Artozoul at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. In the evenings, he went to the Ateliers Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris. At the Ateliers Beaux-Arts, he studied drawing under Rémy Aron, studied drawing and sculpture under Daniel Jodet, and did numerous life drawings.

In September 2008, WADA set up a studio in Maintenon, a commune in the metropolitan area of Paris. Deeply moved by the rural beauty of the region—fields, deep forests, skies, clouds, streams, valleys, snow scenes and quiet presence of local churches—he enthusiastically drew, painted, and developed his artistic sense. Through four seasons, he worked on themes such as The Fields of Maintenon, The blue night of Maintenon, The Hanches Church, The Fields of Rape Blossoms, Landscape of La Vallée de l’Eure, and Sunset of Maintenon.

WADA was also an active exhibitor. From 2005 to 2008, he held four solo exhibitions in Paris and ten group exhibitions in Paris, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, London and Tokyo. In July 2009, WADA held his first solo exhibition in Japan in Studio Blue, Ginza, Tokyo. Shortly after that, he exhibited at the Salon Régional de la Vallée de l’Eure (Regional Salon of the Eure Valley), Maintenon, in September and at Art en Capital 2009 at Grand Palais, Paris, in November. From November to December, he held a solo exhibition in Paris.

Even more exhibitions followed in 2010. In April, he held a solo exhibition in Yokohama, Japan. He exhibited in Monts-sur-Guesnes in August and at Pianos Balleron, Paris, in September. Also in September, he submitted paintings to the Salon Régional de la Vallée de l’Eure and won the Prix de la Ville de Maintenon (Prize of the City of Maintenon). Then he exhibited at the Salon National d’Art de Rambouillet in October and at Art en Capital 2010 at Grand Palais in November. In December, the City of Maintenon sponsored his solo exhibition.

In 2011, WADA had planned two solo exhibitions: in Yokohama in April and in the Maison du Saumon, a historical building in Chartres, in June. However, receiving the news that his mother suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage in February 26, he went home and cancelled both of the solo exhibitions.

In July 2011, WADA ended his 7-year career in France; he moved out of Maintenon and started a new studio in Tokyo.

After experiencing his mother’s illness and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, WADA became more interested in the world of the unconscious. “Depiction of what underlies in the unconscious” became the goal of his creative activity, and every day he attempts to get as close to the goal as possible, introducing elements of the unconscious into his artworks.

He had three exhibitions in 2012: a solo exhibition in Yokohama in May, an exhibition in the Futako-Tamagawa area (Tamagawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo) in July, and a two-person exhibition in Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, in November.

In July 2013, WADA’s new studio was completed in Kitakaruizawa, Japan.

From September 2013 to June 2014, “20 letters to the trees” was used as a teaching material for “À la manière de Ken Wada” (In the style of Ken Wada), a painting workshop for toddlers that took place in a library in Saint-Victor-de-Cessieu, France, and was received well. The workshop was offered again from September 2014 to June 2015.

He had two solo exhibitions in 2015: in Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture in April, and in Machida City, Tokyo in December.

In 2016, he contracted with a NY gallery in February, and exhibited at the gallery in April. In November, he was invited by the director, and submitted paintings to an international art exhibition in Bologna, Italy.

In 2017, he participated in an international art exhibition in Rome, Italy and exhibited at the NY gallery in June. He submitted paintings to an international art exhibition in Madrid, Spain in October and also submitted to an international art exhibition in Bologna, Italy in November.

WADA’s artworks are used as CD covers by French string quartet Quatuor Gabriel (Gabriel Quartet), French pianist Bertrand Giraud, and French composer Philippe Forget.

WADA was a member of the Maison des Artistes, Paris, France, until 2011. He was also a member of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, Paris, France, until 2013.

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