Los Angeles-based artist Asuka Ohsawa’s solo exhibition features recent gouaches that examine familiar dilemmas through the cultural looking glass of fables and comic books. Her richly imagined set pieces are rhythmic, deftly linear and concise, and refer to everything from Orwell to Roger Shimomura to the Three Little Pigs.
Drawing from the Japanese giga tradition (giga simply means “humorous pictures”), as well as artists such as Toba Sojo (1053-1140) and Kuyinoshi Utagawa (1797-1861), Ohsawa peoples her allegories with rabbits, wolves, fish and birds that quietly reveal internecine, factional tensions. Investigating present-day realities, Ohsawa universalizes the sadness of many of our current social practices by projecting them, with mock poignance, onto the animal kingdom.
Asuka Ohsawa’s work has been seen in San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, and at the Asian American Arts Center. Her work will be included in the Traveling Scholars exhibition in 2006 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She holds a MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and lives and works in Los Angeles.