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 was represented by Agora Gallery, New York City (NYC) in February, and exhibited at the gallery in April. In November, he was invited by the director of Trevisan International Art, and submitted paintings to an international art exhibition in Bologna, Italy.

In June 2017, he participated in an international art exhibition in Rome, Italy and also exhibited at Agora Gallery, NYC. WADA’s artworks were selected again by the director of Trevisan International Art and she invited him to the following two exhibitions; an international art exhibition in Madrid, Spain in October and an international art exhibition in Bologna, Italy in November. Then WADA’s artworks were selected from among Agora Gallery’s artists, and his three paintings were exhibited at the gallery from December 2017 to January 2018.

In April 2018, WADA’s artworks were selected and featured as “TOP 10 Artists” in ArtTour International Magazine Spring 2018 Issue, and he also participated for the first time in Artexpo New York 2018 at Pier 94. WADA’s two works were exhibited at Artblend Gallery’s booth, and moreover, his two paintings were digitally displayed at ArtTour International Magazine’s booth and World Wide Art Gallery’s booth. In May, he was represented by Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, NYC, and exhibited at the gallery in August and september. WADA’s artworks were also selected again by the director of Trevisan International Art this year and she invited him to an international art exhibition in Madrid, Spain in November.

In July 2019, WADA left the memorable place of Setagaya-ku, Tokyo where the WADA family lived for 62 and a half years from his grandparents’ generation, and moved completely with his family to the atelier in Kitakaruizawa.
WADA’s artwork “Dear Grid Worker No.8” was displayed at Yukyung Art Museum in Geoje, South Korea in November and December, and after the two-months museum exhibition the artwork was included in the Museum Collection. It was WADA’s first museum collection in his career.

In 2020, WADA had planned two exhibitions: for his second participation in Artexpo New York 2020 at the Agora Gallery (NYC) Booth in April, and for the first time in Tokyo International Art Fair 2020 at the World Wide Art Gallery (US) Booth in June.
However, both exhibitions have been postponed until next year due to developing concerns across the world around the coronavirus (COVID-19).
In such a difficult situation, WADA wrote his first fairy tale about Rai, a black kitten which has strayed into the forest while continuing to make daily paintings.
The fairy tale was electronically published on the Amazon Kindle in October, and the second revised edition was also electronically published on the same publisher in November.
In November, he won Artist of the Future Award of CONTEMPORARY ART CURATOR MAGAZINE.

In 2021, WADA participated in the first online exhibition in his artist career, VIRTUAL ART FAIR 2021 organized by CONTEMPORARY ART STATION in April and May. WADA exhibited eight artworks for two months with 37 artists from 18 countries.
In April, he won Prix Coup de Cœur at International Art Competition, ABSTRACT ART 2021 hosted by Artcertificate in SPAIN.
In May, he also won Collector’s Vision International Art Award of CONTEMPORARY ART CURATOR MAGAZINE.
In October, he participated in Artexpo New York 2021 for the second time at Pier 36. WADA’s three works were exhibited at Agora Gallery’s booth.
Also in October, the third revised edition of the fairy tale that he wrote last year was published in paperback on Amazon.
In December, he participated in Spectrum Miami 2021 for the first time at Mana Wynwood. WADA’s two works were exhibited at World Wide Art Gallery’s booth, and his painting was also digitally presented at the booth.

At the end of 2021, WADA’s right eye disease ; age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has recurred and deteriorated badly, so 2022 was a very difficult year for him from the beginning of the year.
He continued to receive treatment in earnest, but as a result, he lost most of his right eye vision, which has made his daily life difficult.
In such a painful situation, WADA decided to continue painting on April 1st.
At the same time, he also decided to stop the exhibition in consideration of the burden of his eyes after his third participation in the Artexpo New York held at Pier 36 in April.
In the final exhibition, WADA’s two works were exhibited at the booth of the World Wide Art Gallery (US).
Finally, WADA’s exhibition has been 46 times (11 solo exhibitions + 35 group exhibitions) in total throughout his artist career, including 21 in France, 9 in Japan, 8 in the United States, 3 in Italy, twice in Spain, once in the United Kingdom, South Korea and Online.
In April, at the international art competition, ABSTRACT ART 2022 organized by Spain’s Artcertificate, he won the 2nd Prize in the “Drawing/Collage » category out of more than 600 works entries.
In May, he received Voices of Tomorrow Art Award of CONTEMPORARY ART CURATOR MAGAZINE.
In October, he also won Faces of The Peace Art Prize of CONTEMPORARY ART CURATOR MAGAZINE.

In April 2023, WADA won the HEART STROKE AWARD (le PRIX COUR DE CŒUR) out of more than 500 submissions at International Art Competition, ABSTRACT ART 2023 organized by Artcertificate in SPAIN.

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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