Ryan Gander was due to present a solo exhibition at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, opening in April 2021, but it had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and particularly because of the lockdown in the UK. In the wake of the decision to postpone the exhibition, Gander asked if there were "anything I can do to help in this situation?" and commented that "I think the curation of a collection exhibition using the entire space can be done from the UK". The original plans had included Gander curating a collection exhibition for the upper (4th) floor. Encouraged by his suggestion, we decided to organise a collection exhibition curated by Ryan Gander using all the main exhibition spaces in the gallery.
One of the objectives of Gander's work is to shed light on ordinary things that we have forgotten to pay attention to in our daily lives, and to interpret and express them from new perspectives. His work, created with humour while sharply analysing our surroundings, is at the forefront of conceptual art and stimulates the thinking and creativity of the viewer. Applying his perspective, powers of observation and interpretation to the museum's collection promised to create a new viewing experience for us all. The Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery's collection is a private eye collection by the late Terada Kotaro, so such an exhibition would also be a one-to-one conversation between Ryan Gander and Terada Kotaro.
Eventually, it was decided to present the project as two concurrent exhibitions, one on the 3rd floor and the other on the 4th floor, each with its own theme. Colours of the Imagination on the 4th floor is installed using a method based on the fact that the collection is derived from an individual collector's viewpoint. All our stories are incomplete... on the 3rd floor challenges the conventional form of exhibitions by inviting visitors to appreciate the exhibits by torch in a dimly lit space. In both of these exhibitions, Gander attempts to remind visitors of the importance of seeing and imagining. Gander's flexibility and ability to think calmly even in the most difficult situations – changing his ideas to produce something even better – bring a new perspective to our appreciation of art and to our everyday lives.
About Terada Collection
Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery houses the collection which was mainly put together by late TERADA Kotaro, one of the operators of Tokyo Opera City. Terada started the collection as part of his participation in the cultural activities of Tokyo Opera City, then with great benevolence, donated the collection to the Art Gallery. Consisting of approximately 4,000 works, mainly by post-war Japanese artists, the collection includes oil paintings, sculpture, ceramics. photography and other media. It represents a bird's eye view of the massive variety of routes taken by post-war contemporary art in Japan.