Keiichi Tahara was born in Kyoto in 1951. Because his grandfather was a photographer, Tahara was able to master photographic techniques during his youth. In 1972 he went to France; fascinated by the strength of the European light, which was completely new to him, he began to work as a photographer in Paris.
Tahara received international attention in 1977, when his series Fenetre (Window) was recognised with the Newcomer Prize at The Rencontres d’Arles, France. Later, he would produce representative works such as Portrait (1978-87) and Eclats (1979-1983). He also exhibited various works produced after making a journey through Europe photographing 19th century architectural spaces.
Proceeding from the thought that he does not want to limit himself to photography, but instead wants “to see the existence of light itself; to catch light with my own hand,” since the late 1980s Tahara has realised a number of projects—including sculptures and installations—that are based entirely on light. These works have been exhibited around the world, not only at museums but also at various other locations where they have been installed permanently.
Tahara’s main awards include The Photographic Society of Japan Newcomer’s Award (1984), The Higashikawa Award (1985), the Ihei Kimura Award (1985) and admission into the French Order of Arts and Letters, Chevalier grade (1993).