Friday, April 29, 2005

Chopstick Karma

I want your chopsticks! Gimme your used disposable chopsticks!!!

Something we don't really think of when we eat out at Asian resturants, when we take out the handy wooden chopsticks, take it out of the paper wrapper, then using both hands, crack them apart so that both sticks will come apart just the way we like it. YEAH no splinters. Some of us,'s really just me, will rub the sticks together to get rid of the dang splinters. I've been known to break my chopsticks cuz I went too far and rubbed too hard. I guess I really didn't know my own strength *hehehe*

But have you ever wondered what happens to these disposable chopsticks "after" your meal hmmmmmmm?

Well, artist Donna Keiko Ozawa has an answer... ART!

She is collecting used chopsticks and after washing and sanitizing them, uses it to create art.

In her own words,

* I have received grants from the Columbia Foundation and LEF Foundation to work on "The Waribashi Project: San Francisco," an environmental art collaborative with the Japanese Community and Cultural Center of Northern California. As some of you know, I piloted this project in Tokyo in 1999 by collecting over 15,000 used disposable chopsticks from noodle shops and making sculpture.

The Waribashi Project:SF is a much larger manifestation of the idea of diverting reusable or recyclable waste to show the environmental impact of the cultural/consumer practice of using disposable chopsticks through art. I have begun the collection process (I wash them in a dish sanitizer and dry them outside) and it will be accelerating this month. The project is one of the highlighted exhibits for the United Nations World Environment Day 2005 conference sponsored by the City of San Francisco, June 1-5. I will email more details later.

For now, if you have any used disposable chopsticks that have been cluttering your drawers, now is a good time to donate them to my collection and start carrying your personal hashi when you go out to eat! And if you want to check out our progress along the way, visit the project website every now and then to see what is happening at or And if you wants to volunteer with the chopstick collection, we would love volunteers!

So help her out by collecting your chopsticks and giving them to her.


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