Hiroshi Watanabe (photographer)

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Hiroshi Watanabe (渡邉 博史, Watanabe Hiroshi) is a California-based Japanese photographer. His books include I See Angels Every Day and Findings.

Life and work[edit]

Born in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan[1] in 1951,[citation needed] Watanabe graduated from the Department of Photography of Nihon University in 1975 and moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a production coordinator for Japanese television commercials and later co-founded a Japanese coordination services company. He obtained an MBA from UCLA in 1993, but two years later his earlier interest in photography revived; from 2000 he has worked full-time at photography.

After five self-published books, Watanabe's first to be published conventionally was I See Angels Every Day, monochrome portraits of the patients and other scenes within San Lázaro psychiatric hospital in Quito, Ecuador. This won the 2007 Photo City Sagamihara award for Japanese professional photographers.[2]

In 2005, a portfolio of his work was featured in Nueva Luz photographic journal, volume 10#3.[3] In 2007 Watanabe won a "Critical Mass" award from Photolucida that allowed publication of his monograph Findings.

In 2008, his work of North Korea won Santa Fe Center Project Competition First Prize, and the book titled "Ideology of Paradise" was published in Japan.

He was invited and participated in commission projects such as "Real Venice" in 2010 (its exhibition was a program in 2011 Venice Biennale), "Bull City Summer" in 2013, and "The Art of Survival, Enduring Turmoil of Tule Lake" in 2014.

Watanabe's works are in the permanent collections of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, George Eastman House, and Santa Barbara Museum of Art.[4]


  • Veiled Observations and Reflections. Hiroshi Watanabe (self-published), West Hollywood, Calif.: 2002.
  • Faces. West Hollywood, Calif.: Hiroshi Watanabe, 2002–2005.
    • 1. San Lazaro Psychiatric Hospital. 2003.
    • 2. Kabuki Players. 2003.
    • 3. Ena Bunraku. 2005.
    • 4. Noh Masks of Naito Clan. 2005.
  • Watakushi wa mainichi, tenshi o mite iru (私は毎日、天使を見ている。) / I See Angels Every Day. Mado-sha, Tokyo, Japan: 2007. ISBN 978-4-89625-085-5
  • Findings. Photolucida, Portland, OR: 2007. ISBN 978-1-934334-00-3.
  • Paradaisu ideorogī (パラダイスイデオロギー) / Ideology in Paradise. Mado-sha, Tokyo, Japan: 2008. ISBN 978-4-89625-091-6
  • Suo Sarumawashi. Photo-Eye, Santa Fe, N.M., 2009. ISBN 978-0-9840927-0-3.
  • Love Point. Toseisha, Tokyo, Japan: 2010. ISBN 978-4-88773-103-5
  • Love Point. One Picture Book #66, Nazraeli Press, Portland, OR: 2010. ISBN 978-1-59005-302-7.
  • The Day the Dam Collapses. Daylight Books, Hillsborough, NC & Tosei-sha Publishing Co., Ltd, Tokyo, Japan: 2014. ISBN 978-0-9897981-1-2
  • Kwaidan, Stories and Studies of Strange Things, photographs by Hiroshi Watanabe, Unicorn Publishing Group, LLP, London, UK: 2019 ISBN 978-1-911604-98-3


  1. ^ Biography page Archived 2009-10-15 at the Wayback Machine on Watanabe's site. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
  2. ^ Kokunai puro no bu: Sagamihara shashinshō" (国内プロの部:さがみはら写真賞), in Sagamihara Sōgō Shashinsai Fotoshiti Sagamihara 2007 kōshiki gaidobukku (相模原市総合写真祭 フォトシティさがみはら2007 公式ガイドブック), pp. 5–10. This booklet is the official guidebook to Photo City Sagamihara 2007.
  3. ^ "En Foco". Nueva Luz Photographic Journal. 21 August 2008. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  4. ^ Houston, Eastman, Santa Barbara, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and San Jose Museum of Art: according to the biography in the Photo City Sagamihara 2007 booklet.

External links[edit]

  • Watanabe's site
  • Hiroshi Watanabe on En Foco
  • Garcia-Guzman, Miguel. "Hiroshi Watanabe". [EV+/-] Exposure Compensation, October 2007. An essay on Watanabe's work, generously illustrated with photographs.
  • Records, Shawn. "Hiroshi Watanabe's Findings". 40 Watt. A review of Findings, generously illustrated with photographs.
  • Watanabe preserves life in portraits, observations, Fotophile.com review of Watanabe's exhibition in Austin, Texas.
  • Hiroshi Watanabe's exhibition: "Comedy of Duble Meaning" at Takeda Art Co [www.takeda-bijyutu.com]
  • With My Own Eyes, 180 magazine 08/2005 [1]
  • Depicting ideology's weight, D.K. Row, The Oregonian, 01/2008 [2]
  • Imagenesde la psiquiatria, 178. Veo ángeles todos los días. 2011 [3]
  • En Foco's Blog, Queitly Questioning Paradise: Hiroshi Watanabe’s Views of North Korea, 06/2009 [4]
  • Financial Times, That sinking feeling FT.com, By Jan Dalley, 07/2011 [5]
  • Hiroshi Watanabe, Two Ways Lens, blog by Michael Werner 05/2010 [6]
  • Hiroshi Watanabe U-SKILL [7]
  • Tuck Magazine, September Photo, 2012 [8]
  • Lenscratch, Hiroshi Watanabe and The Venice in Peril Project by Aline SmithsonJuly 17, 2011 [9]
  • The Japan Times, Photographer finds dignity in a dark time, by Ayako Mie, 08/2012, [10]
  • PhotoBook Journal[1], book review by Douglas Stockdale, The Day the Dam Collapses, November, 2014
  • The Art of Survival, Enduring the Turmoil of Tule Lake, featuring Watanabe's photographs of artifacts from Japanese American confinement site in Newell, California, 2014 [11]
  1. ^ "Hiroshi Watanabe – The Day the Dam Collapses". PhotoBook Journal. 2014-11-14. Retrieved 2019-09-30.