A contemporary lithograph artist, Takeshi Hara, was born in Nagoya in 1942. He attended Tokyo University of Fine Arts and graduated in 1967 with a B.A. in painting. Two years later, he received a M.A. in painting as well. At this point, he began using the go, or artist name, “Ken.” During his time at university, Hara became increasingly adverse to Western methods and styles and gravitated to the Japanese woodblock print medium. He experimented with lacquer-painted irregular canvases and spray guns filled with paint before turning to printmaking.The lithograph allows him to achieve an incredible smoothness of color and speak to Hara’s careful control in the printmaking process.
In 1971, he participated in the Paris Biennale and set off on years of travel. From Europe, Hara set off to Egypt and Morocco in 1975, followed by the United Kingdom, United States, and Central America with the support of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Overseas Study Program for Artists. In addition to travel and many group and solo exhibitions, he began teaching lithography. In 1973, Hara joined the painting department of Tokyo Zokei University, where he became a full professor. Today, Hara is a visiting scholar at Nagoya Zokei University of Art and Design.