When I started painting, I had a vague notion of what its meaning and relationship was to my previous years as an illustrator working in advertising and publishing. I do acknowledge impatience as a result of a creative restlessness that pushed me towards self-examination as opposed to the role of a problem solver for clients. In retrospect, I think that this decision was an act of taking responsibility on how I really wanted to spend my days and nights. It was a decision to start an exploration of the cues that seeped in my life and the attempts to organize them through work. Then and now, these catalysts came in fits of inspiration and were followed by intense reflection on what I had done with them. I am still dumbfounded by what can be interesting and have come to terms with it.

In my work, it’s not necessarily what you think but what you see that counts. One day, I will decide to approach outlandish pattern schemes as a start and the next day marry incoherent visual systems into an orchestrated ensemble. I try stripping everything of its original intentions, altering conventional structures, and devising confusing hierarchies. These are the rationale. Techniques involve purging words of their information, questioning the value of cultural symbols, merging the obvious with the subconscious, and documenting thoughts in faux calligraphy. Subverting the expected and then sending out its false information is as unpredictable and messy as the truth broadcasted from contemporary media. If denying clarity can be a benchmark for a kind of art then the resulting enigmatic state can be the hallmark of the modern moment. If so, then maybe what you think will only get you so far without truly seeing.

Richard Osaka lives and works in Pasadena, California.