From trash to treasure for globe-trotting Japanese cardboard artist


AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The declaring “one man’s trash is a different man’s treasure” has been the mantra motivating Japanese artist Fuyuki Shimazu to go on a international dumpster diving adventure to verify the position.

Japanese artist Fuyuki Shimazu, who travels the world seeking for cardboard to change into items these types of as wallets, seems in Austin, Texas, U.S. March 12, 2018 where by a documentary called “From All Corners” about his get the job done premiered at the South by Southwest movie festival. REUTERS/Sachi Jenkins

Shimazu, 30, a collector of cardboard, has travelled to 27 international locations to decide on up containers destined to be discarded. From the refuse, he crafts wallets, small business card holders and other goods that have fetched praise from style critics and more than enough money in revenue to ship him exploring by way of bins significantly afield.

“I genuinely cherish the moments when I come upon cardboard containers that are only made use of in a precise place or that are not able to be uncovered at any other put,” he claimed in an job interview this 7 days at the South by Southwest Film Competition in the Texas money of Austin, where by a documentary about him called “From All Corners” created its world premiere.

What he does is called upcycling, the creative reuse of unwanted items and resources destined for the dust-heap.

The journey has taken him from Spain to Greece to India to Cambodia, with a unforgettable stop by to Israel, where by he picked up intriguing cardboard and was held at immigration for about four several hours to make clear the reason of his trip in search of the fantastic box.

Japanese artist Fuyuki Shimazu, who travels the world seeking for cardboard to change into items these types of as wallets, seems in Austin, Texas, U.S. March 12, 2018 where by a documentary called “From All Corners” about his get the job done premiered at the South by Southwest movie festival. REUTERS/Sachi Jenkins

“The types that are beat up, have indicators all in excess of, clearly show duct tape traces, and are scratched on the bottom … these are the types that I enjoy imagining the stories powering them,” he claimed.

Director Ryusuke Okajima, follows Shimazu as he tracks down the primary designer of a gentle yellow-environmentally friendly cardboard made use of to ship southern Japanese potatoes that he fell in adore with when he stumbled on it at a market in Tokyo.

(L-R) Daichi Yoshida, music composer, Yuko Shiomaki, producer, Ryusuke Okajima, director, and Fuyuki Shimazu pose in Austin, Texas, U.S. March 12, 2018 where by a documentary called “From All Corners” about his get the job done premiered at the South by Southwest movie festival. REUTERS/Sachi Jenkins

His absolutely practical items burst with colours and embrace the patterns made use of in packaging.

Shimazu sells his wallets for as a lot as about $100 and this year has had an exhibition at the Countrywide Art Heart, Tokyo.  

His mission is to advertise upcycling, offer much more items and locate the upcoming cardboard box that warms his heart.

“When you have a single factor you adore, it helps make your life enjoyable,” he claimed.

Reporting by Sachi Jenkins Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Lisa Shumaker



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