Coutesy the artist, illustration by Inko

A multi-room installation re-imagining the story of the first Englishman to set foot in Japan.

Anjin 1600: Edo Wonderpark – David Blandy

Anjin 1600: Edo Wonderpark was a multi-room installation incorporat­ing a re-imagining of the story of William Adams (1564-1620), a sea navigator known as the first Englishman to set foot in Japan in 1600. Appropriating and animating scenes found from Edo-era wood block prints, combining traditional technique with modern anime, Anjin 1600: Edo Wonderpark used Adam’s story to form a complex medi­tation on colonialism, cultural tourism and identity.

Alongside the installation, providing a focus for a larger discussion about our relationship to our cultural heritage, Blandy worked with the local community to uncover ancestral stories of migration. These narratives were retold in collaborative works where the historical journeys were transposed into epic space adventures.

Through a series of intensive workshops with local schools and com­munity groups, a compendium of stories were collected, forming an alternate social history of east London. The exhibition coincidds with, and considered issues surrounding the 400th anniversary of Japan- British relations.

This installation was exhibited in the Rose Lipman Building.

 Curated by Keith Whittle under his commissioning agency FountainCo-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.




Create London Talk Series:
Colonised Imagination: Urban constructions within the discourse of Japanese animation

Alongside the installation, as part of our Talk Series, Blandy lead a discussion concerning socially engaged art in Japan and asked 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. Co-hosted by Japan400 as part of Japan400 Week.