She makes wall sculptures made of trash, she is American and she is creating an enchanting world of cute animals! Let’s welcome in the scene of trash artists: Stephanie Hongo, aka Sugar Fox! 

Waste is one of the biggest environmental issues: waste of food, waste of electronics, waste of clothing, waste, waste….waste is also a big dark market with a value of $ 410 billions, mostly not legal. 

Have you never heard about the circular economy? This can be one of the solutions, based on considering the waste as a resource. 

Hongo’s story is an example of how to consider waste a resource!

What we like most about Hongo is her steampunk style. Her amazing creatures look like coming from another age made of gears, iron, and rust. 

At Artemperature we already wrote about trash artists: Bordalo II, Jane Perkins, Veronika Richterova.  We love artists able to reuse and make beauty from trash and from what people simply waste.  

Let’s show our support to these artists by reading and sharing their stories, you can also follow Stephanie Hongo on her Instagram profile .

Stephanie Hongo

I abruptly found myself without a job and no money for supplies. Trash is free and always in surplus"

Stephanie Hongo


How is born your interest in trash art?

I didn’t really begin working with trash because I had an interest in making “trash art” specifically. While I was aware of many artists that do this as their chosen medium it was more a set of circumstances that lead me to create art with trash over other mediums. It was born more from necessity than interest. I abruptly found myself without a job and no money for supplies. Trash is free and always in surplus.

why your main subjects are animals and why you give them titles like pet's names ?

I like animals best because this medium is so unnatural and rigid. The contrast of using hard plastics, electronics, Tupperware, and other manmade materials to make an organic, soft, natural form is most interesting to me. I name them like “pets” because it is customary to title art. The names are their titles.

Fish- Ophelia
Could you explain us the process of making an artwork like yours and how much time could take?

I start all my pieces by researching the subject and finding a pose/position I like best. From the image I choose, I will draw a rough sketch onto the board I am building off of. From there I sift through the large pile of trash I have amassed looking for the appropriate size/shape piece for the part of the sculpture I am dealing with. The amount of time this takes varies greatly. Some pieces have stretched weeks, while others come together within a day. After it is built it is painted. Usually, the sculpture is painted first, and then the board behind it, but I have also worked in the reverse.

Phases of the process for making Bear- Oberon
How people react to the idea to buy an artwork made of trash?

I’m sure plenty of people are turned off by the idea of buying work made from trash or may think it to be worth little-nothing due to its makeup, but those are not the people who reach out to me. As a general rule the public has been very kind a receptive to my work. I think people love the creativity behind it and that every piece is truly one-of-a-kind. I hear regularly how happy people are to see that they are made from recycled materials, and each is a small contribution to waste management. I am so humbled and honored that it has gotten this kind of support and interest.

your work is based on recycling, this is a theme important in your life?

I wouldn’t say recycling is a major theme in my life. I always try to be conscious of it. I do what I can to be on the right side of helping our planet, but not in any radical way. I think I approach it like the healthy majority of those who care about their footprint.

Three things you love

Bourbon whiskey, Stand-up comedy, Going out to dinner.

Three things you hate

Getting up before 6 am, Cilantro, Unsolicited advice.

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