Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo

As a native of El Salvador Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo’s work is concerned with issues of collective memory, historical trauma and identity within a global context explored through multi-media approaches to drawing that includes stop-motion animation video, printmaking and installation work.  His art practice is an intuitive construction of memory as a form of personal myth-making that casts political expressions, voices modes of resistance, and most recently speaks to a process of re-construction, growth and healing.

He holds an MFA from Concordia University in Montréal. He has exhibited extensively across Canada and internationally in venues such as The International Print Centre in New York, The Southern Alberta Art Gallery, MAI (Montréal Arts interculturels), The Mexic-Arte museum in Austin, Texas, La Halle de Saint Pierre in Paris and Marte-Museo de Arte de El Salvador among others.  He is the recipient of The Artist Studio Award Program by the City of Vancouver (2015-2018), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2010) and numerous project grants from The Canada Arts Council.  In 2011 he was the winner of the Victor-Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for a mid-career artist in visual arts in Canada.


Immigration / Emigration 2015/2016
Truth & Reconciliation 2018/2019




Vancouver, BC Canada


Not too long ago “shithole countries” was a ubiquitous soundbite in American news media. In an age of racist and xenophobic political rhetoric this one proved to be a real heartbreaker for me, because I happen to come from one of those countries. And while knowing the message was not true, it lingered in me and as I reflected on it I realized it had actually wounded me. More insidiously was how my inner child felt, as he was told to “go back home”, which is more or less what every immigrant person of colour has been told in some shape or form in their lives.

Black Lives matter movement in Canada has laid bare for everyone to see the open wounds of racism, bigotry, and xenophobia as a societal structure for oppression. As a working artist I also recognize that institutions in the Canadian Art scene have been upholders of this oppressive system that has largely benefited white artists for decades.

I choose my artistic voice, in order to create a better sense of belonging in myself. As a Salvadoran living in Canada my practice attempts to reconcile the historical trauma of our civil war, to heal the memory of violence, to reclaim my own story through working ideas of re-growth and re-generation through personal myth and indigenous cosmology. –Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo