Ryan Gander – The Idea of Japan


Ryan Gander OBE is a leading conceptual artist. He creates artworks full of symbolic meaning – images, sculpture, installations and films that may appear to be about one thing, but contain further messages for the thoughtful. Ryan has an affinity with Japan, a country with a highly sophisticated visual culture, expressed through images and symbols that broadcast cultural messages to the world as well as to the Japanese themselves. The Geisha, the Samurai, cherry blossom and the iconic “Great Wave” are obvious examples.  Tattoo art, robotic Gundam figures, the highest of tech concept cars and Tokyo street style are less so. The exploration of these signs and symbols takes Ryan six thousand miles east of his Suffolk studio, to investigate how Japanese visual culture is closely linked to a special relationship with time, as the country’s past and future inform its present tense.


More information about the programme can be found here.


First broadcast: 13th June 2017 – 9pm on BBC FOUR.