In the 400th anniversary year of Japanese-British relations, David Blandy's new exhibition will creatively explore the mythology, legacy and socio-cultural connotations of William Adams, the first Englishman to set foot in Japan in 1600 and the only officially recognised Western Samurai.
Encompassing a new series of animated films set within an immersive installation, Anjin 1600: Edo Wonderpark has its aesthetic starting point in wood block prints of the Japanese Edo period ' a halcyon era within Japan's governance that was characterised by great artistic and cultural growth.
Drawing on these existing historical references, Blandy is working with a Japanese animator from the prestigious Tokyo Geidai animation school to combine traditional artistic techniques and methods of storytelling with contemporary anime. The results will be a 21st century reimagination of the sea-faring Adams's story with Homeric inferences that muse on the notion of place and self within contemporary globalised culture.
Exhibition: Rose Lipman Building, 43 De Beauvoir Road, London, N1
Curated by Keith Whittle under his commissioning agency Fountain and presented in partnership with CREATE London
Co-produced by Elizabeth Newell
Installations made in collaboration with Rhino Rock and AAS Group
Supported by Arts Council England, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and in association with The Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo Geidai and Japan400.
The exhibition forms part of Create London's summer programme of events.
Create London Talk Series:
Colonised Imagination: Urban constructions within the discourse of Japanese animation
Mon 16 Sept 6-8pm
Free but booking required.
This talk will consider socially engaged art in Japan and ask how it might contribute to an analysis of the current socio-political environment, national identity and the aesthetic of Japanese culture.
Artist David Blandy in conversation with curator and Japan Foundation Fellow, Keith Whittle, Dr Verina Gfader and Japanese animator Keiko Shiraishi.