Born and raised in Los Angeles, Japanese American artist Roddy Bogawa (b. 1962) studied art and sculpture and played in punk bands before turning to film. In his youth, Bogawa struggled with a desire to assimilate until the punk scene gave him a way to truly express himself, and the DIY punk aesthetic continues to influence his work. Other influences include Andy Warhol, the 1970s avant-garde, and filmmakers like Chris Marker, Jean Luc Godard, and Yasujiro Ozu. He currently lives in New York City and works as a Professor at New Jersey City University.
Bogawa’s work explores internal conflict, the relationship between individuals and their environment, and how identity is shaped by culture and history. He casts non-actors and actors side by side and layers his stories with metaphors, abstract material, and multiple narrative voices. His feature-length films, a unique blend of experimental and narrative styles, range from loosely (Some Divine Wind) and strictly (I Was Born, But …) autobiographical to science fiction (Junk) to documentary (Taken by Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis).