Mikio Watanabe was born in 1954 in Yokohama, Japan. He completed his arts studies in Tokyo, in 1977, at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He then moved to Paris and continues to live there. From 1979o- 1981, he studied engraving with William Stanley Hayter at Atelier 17. He described the slow process of engraving:
As I scrape the burrs that I have incised on the copper plate and then polish it, the sensitivity which lies inside me can be revealed. Giving shape and light to what was before absolute darkness, I try to feel this universe of purity which exists deep inside the human body. Like a tree or a stone, human beings also possess an original purity. I would like to return to that point of simplicity and have the vision to look at all human and living beings.
Watanabe’s mezzotints often feature Yuriko, his wife and model. Watanabe’s prints have won prizes in many international print exhibitions, including the “Salon de la Gravure Originale” in Bayeux, France in 1989 and the “Miniprint International” in Cadaques, Spain in 1992. Mr. Watanabe’s prints are exhibited around the world. He has had more than 50 one-man shows, and his works can be found in many public collections including Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the Central Academy of Art, Kuala Lumpur and the New Orleans Museum of Art.