Toshiya Watanabe was born in Fukushima, Japan, 1966. In 1990 he was an undergraduate graphic design student at Tama Art University. During his studies the PARCO art competition in Japan chose him as one of the top 20 most promising photographers. Currently, he divides his time between being an art director for advertising and a photographer.
In his series 'Somewhere not Here' Watanabe goes into the depths of his consciousness to create his magical realistic images. In his photographs of real landscapes, such as the sea, the city, and vegetation, reality disappears, resulting in a feeling of being 'not here, somewhere else'. Both instability and beauty exist in the pictures for which Watanabe used infrared film. The series 'Somewhere not Here' uses society as a subject, focusing on the something that appears and disappears underneath everyday life.
'The sense of air in the world changes in a disturbing direction (extraordinary feeling), uneasy feelings, uncertain hope'.
Watanabe got selected and won a couple awards as Potolucida Critical Mass, Top50 in 2011, Exposure, Finalists / International photography award, Honorable Mention / Potolucida Critical Mass, Top50 in 2012. After he got 1st place at the International photography awarding 2013 and the Honourable Mention at the International photography award in 2014. In 2016 he won the STEIDL BOOK AWARD Japan.