Eye-Catching Reflections of Charles Osawa

Who is Charles Osawa

Charles Osawa is an architect, photographer, designer, and fine artist, from Los Angeles, C.A. Charles obtained his BFA in Architectural Design at the Parson School in New York City. As an Architect and Design consultant, he has worked on the 2013 and 2015 Tokyo International Photo Festival, Ricoh’s flagship “Ring Cube” photo gallery in Tokyo, and "Andy Warhol “15 minutes-Eternal,” “Essential Eames,” "Magnum Photos exhibition" at the Singapore ArtScience Museum. Further into his career, Charles utilized his architectural eye in photographer, production manager and PA; assisting in shoots for high profile magazines like Flaunt, Elite Traveler and Bloomberg Business, as well as shooting New York's Fashion Week. Since relocating back to Los Angeles in 2017, Charles' energy has primarily been focused on creating a revolutionary art form, that turns trash into collectible treasures. 

Charles Osawa

Standardized Trash Sculptures 

Osawa's sculptures can easily be described as beautiful refuse on a pedestal. When asked about his medium, he states; "I use trash as my medium to reflect our society, so we can take a greater look at ourselves". In 2016, Calrecycle.ca.gov reported approximately 34.7 million tons of exported garbage to landfills; not including 7.4 million tons of disposed recyclables. "I came to realize that we need to change how we produce trash." Charles' sculptures undergo an identical creation process in the beginning that is revised over time. The process of reshaping, redefining and simplifying the mold, allows Charles the ability to mass produce his creations for a wider audience. 

 

Charles Osawa


"We are what we eat, but what about the food wrapper? What about all the trash? Where do they come from and where do they go? I trap them like future fossils for our generations to keep."  ~ Charles Osawa

 

Future Fossils  

My effort is to preserve our culture forever. Archaeologists learn about ancient civilizations often from trash. I wonder what part of us would be remembered when all of us will be gone. I wonder if we can preserve something other than trash.

People often do not have choices. We are often left with products that are one-time use and no one to blame. Sometimes memories are tainted with pain. I wonder if I can preserve it and make it beautiful. So we can get over our painful memories.

We are all surrounded by contradictions. Making art is one such act of mankind. Are we making trash, or something pretty? Either way it is non-functional. So I wonder how much of our art will be preserved.

I make trash beautiful again. Because it represents us. All of what we produced, including things such as medical wastes, are part of us. It shows our intellectualism, manifestation and humanity. I make it pretty so we won’t forget.

 

Charles Osawa

Final Thoughts

Charles Osawa’s dynamic aesthetic and environmental sensibilities clearly are a culmination of his LA upbringing, Japanese heritage and travels across the world. His use of shapes are reminiscent of garbage cubes out of a compactor; splashed with radical waves of vibrant trash. I also found myself hypnotized by the icy blue composite, fusing each capsule in motionless motion. The future looks promising with people like Charles out here; turning trash into treasure, and that treasure into history. 

 

 

Contact Charles: 

Charles Osawa
"Im here to show people that trash can shine." 

Source: 

VoyageLA: Interview with Charles Osawa

Calrecycle: California's 2016 Per Capita Disposal Rate Estimate 

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