Theatre of War at the Orphium.
Art: Mike Saijo's 'A Dream Deferred'
Borrowing its title from a Langston Hughes poem, Los Angeles artist
Mike Saijo presents a new exhibition examining
the ethnographic histories of the Boyle Heights neighborhood - to
Hughes' Harlem - vis-a`-vis the Japanese American, Latino and Jewish
communities that resided there in the 1940s. "A Dream
Deferred" sets forth a series of multimedia works in the artist's
distinctive style of layered photographs, drawings, Xerox transfers
and text in bold black-and-white. Caporale/Bleicher Gallery, 355
N. La Brea Ave., L.A. Opening reception 6 p.m. Sat. Free. Show ends
April 8. (323) 545-6018.
Published: March 24, 2011
Suit Riots Series. 2011 (click
here for more details)
Street (Outside / Inside). 2011
Japanese Soldier, Jewish Soldier, Mexican Soldier. 2011
Grand Slam. 2011
Oculist Witnesses. 2010 (click
here for more details)
Architectural Survey. 2010 (click
here for more details)
1, Ronin 2, Ronin 3. 2009
2009. Paper shirt made from pages of pocket size dictionary, ink,
gesso on canvas, in acrylic box.
Grinder (for Duchamp). 2009
by Mike Saijo
The portrait of me at the bottom of my Bio
(in "About Me") was made by my friend Mike Saijo. He often
uses book pages juxtaposed with images as his expression, but when
he learned that I'd kept a journal all my life, he suggested using
some of those pages as part of a portrait of me. So that's what
we did. Here, Mike is attaching the last of
actual pages of my journal from January 1974 superimposed with a
picture of me thirty-five years to the day that the pages
were written. The piece is over five feet square, and hangs on the
wall of my studio...something to live up to, indeed!
By STEPHEN JERROME Studio5la.com
LA Artcore, Brewery Annex
3000 Worlds in a Moment
for more details)
Worlds in a Moment. October 2008
Worlds in a Moment
October 1 - 31, 2008
Reception: October 12, 1-3 PM
Conversation with the artists at 2 PM
LA Artcore is pleased to present 3000 Worlds
in a Moment, a multi-media exhibition of new work by Mike Saijo,
in which, he investigates modernism, and its
effect on the formation of the cultural and historical landscape
of Los Angeles.
In this current series of work, Saijo has
layered architectural floor plans, designed by well-known Los Angeles
architects, atop pages of children’s literature from the 1950’s.
He chooses the combination of visuals and text with care and deliberation,
often, emphasizing the misuse or manipulation
of language, and bringing to light underlying hierarchies of thought.
As the image directs or deflects interest in the narrative, stories
are transformed and data is reconfigured.
Saijo believes that architecture is a reflection
of the psychology of its culture, and through his sculpture examines
this concept. Sparse tower-like forms refer not only to a
modernist trend in architecture but bring to mind structures found
in military and prison complexes.
Utilizing a network of perspectives, Saijo draws attention to systems
of power and the fine line between fact and fiction, while investigating
LA Artcore is a non-profit organization that helps to develop the
careers of the artists and brings contemporary art to the public.
Please visit our website at www.laartcore.org
Artcore, Brewery Annex
650 A South Avenue 21
Los Angeles, CA 90031
H: Thu - Sun / 12 - 4pm
Los Angeles Times Entropic Series. 2008
New York Times
In a Doorway, a Gentle Call to Arms
the streets of Inwood, a canvas featuring an image of Jackson Pollock
came and went.
has long been a neighborhood of Broadway musicians and opera singers
who practice inside and outside their apartments, then ride the
A train downtown to musicals and cabaret shows, dressed in black
evening wear, instruments in tow. Late at night they return to the
quiet streets of this neighborhood in northern Manhattan, seemingly
the exclusive province of musical artists.
That changed a few months ago when a mysterious
artwork appeared on the stoop of a boarded-up brick building
on West 215th Street and Park Terrace East. Nestled in a doorway
of the building, which once housed a girls school, stood a
5-by-8-foot canvas plastered with a photocopy of a photograph showing
Jackson Pollock splattering paint. The copy in turn was overlaid
on pages from a book of complex mathematical
equations. In one corner an inscription read: Intersections
and Decomposition for Planar Arrangements.
The display, titled Pollock
Equation, was erected in February by Mike
Saijo, a 32-year-old mixed-media artist. After moving to
the neighborhood from Los Angeles in 2005, he had been trying in
vain to bond with artists whose work was shown at a gallery on West
207th Street. Inwood doesnt have many galleries.
There was the weekend water colorist, the guy who took an
art class in college and hadnt made art in three years,
he said. Nobody had the same kind of commitment.
Mr. Saijo saw his display as a sort of rallying cry. As he wrote
in an e-mail message explaining his intentions: Art
is a very important part of a healthy community. It can generate
energy and vitality by transforming common everyday spaces and enhancing
everyday experiences in a small way, sending ripples in a small
it sent, and spontaneous pieces of art have begun popping up ever
At one end of Park Terrace East, bronze Buddhist prayer bells appeared
nailed to a brick building, just out of reach from the street. At
the other end of Park Terrace East, there appeared, at changing
locations, a coffee mug adorned with elaborately drawn flowers that
mirrored the blooming garden in Isham Park at the end of the block.
Mr. Saijos canvas disappeared a few weeks ago, apparently
stolen. In its place he put up a poster
advertising an exhibition of his work this month in the East Village.
In a few weeks, Mr. Saijo will be moving to Williamsburg, Brooklyn,
but his poster remains on the doorway in Inwood below a jutting
iron nail, waiting to be adorned.
Published: August 19, 2007
New York Magazine
The Mathematics of Jackson Pollock
on a Street Corner in Inwood
In an impressive display of academic vandalism, uptown artist Mike
Saijo created his bigger-than-life piece Pollock
Equation from pages torn from an advanced mathematics
textbook, atop which Saijo printed a photo of Jackson Pollock in
all his wily glory. Saijo, an Inwood resident, leaned his work against
the doorway of an abandoned school building on Park Terrace East,
not to avoid the Soho street-art clutter but because he
wanted something pretty to look at on his way out his front door.
The piece made it through the winter and spring before being swiped
last month, but, as of Wednesday, a selection of Saijos work
will be up at the Tompkins Square Library through August 22.
By RACHEL WOLFF
Published: August 6, 2007
Tompkins Square Library Art Gallery
Corpus Xeroxysm 3
Emerging artist and curator at 207 gallery, Mike
Saijos debut solo-exhibition in NYC entitled Corpus
Xeroxysm 3, is part of an ongoing epic project of deconstructing
literature currently on view at Tompkins
Square Library Art Gallery. Themes in this exhibition include:
Psycho-history of the New World, Imaginary Science, and the Body
inspired by Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Claude
Levi-Strauss, Charles Darwin, and composer Richard Wagner. The works
on exhibit were originally intended to be exhibited for a solo exhibition
at Columbia University Medical Center on June 2007, but was canceled
few days before the opening reception due to the content of the
work. The exhibition includes large-scale
work consisting of pages from discarded books and an xerox print
process which layers images over the text.
Reception Wed.August 8, 2007 6-8p
Music and Sound Performance featuring: Jay Why, The Blisstones,
and Ryan Tkac. Wed. August 15, 2007 6-8p
Closing Reception, screening of short films and video art Wed.August
22, 2007 6-8p
Directions: L traIn walk towards Ave B.Tompkins Square Library 331
E.10th St. New York, NY 10009 212-228-4747
Mike Saijo, www.msaijo.com
Fay Lewis, representative firstname.lastname@example.org 646. 279.0831
State University, Fullerton
Inaugural Exhibit Wins Acclaim
OC Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum's Show Lands National
Stephanie George, archivist for the universitys
Center for Oral and Public History, stands before a mixed media
piece by New York artist Mike Saijo that was part of the award-winning
exhibit Sowing Dreams, Cultivating Lives: Nikkei Farmers in
Pre-World War II Orange County that was exhibited in the Orange
County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum in the Fullerton
Arboretum last year. George was the exhibits curator. Photo
by Kelly Lacefield
"Sowing Dreams, Cultivating Lives: Nikkei Farmers in Pre-World
War II Orange County," the inaugural exhibit of the Orange
County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum at the Fullerton
Arboretum, has garnered national acclaim.
Curator Stephanie George and designer Carlota F. Haider created
the exhibit when they were Cal State Fullerton graduate students.
Both have since graduated and will receive the 2008 Award of Merit
Sept. 12 from the American Association for State and Local History
in New York.
"That was our first exhibit," said George, who works on
campus as the Center for Oral and Public Historys archivist.
"Receiving this national recognition is very exciting, not
only for us personally but for the museum, the arboretum and the
university. It speaks to the education that we received here."
"Sowing Dreams," which ran throughout 2007, highlighted
the experiences of Japanese American farmers who settled and lived
in Orange County during the years leading up to their relocation
and internment in spring 1942. The exhibit was based on oral histories
and photographs from the universitys Center for Oral and Public
History and covered immigration, family life, social organizations
and farming. The exhibit featured an original
mixed-media piece by New York-based artist Mike Saijo, based on
local photographs and writings in Echo magazine published
by Orange Countys Japanese American community before World
War II. The 7 feet by 10 feet work reflects the sense of community
spirit of the Japanese American farmers. The art piece has found
a permanent home in the university's Pollak Library.
George and Haider worked with several CSUF departments from
anthropology and biology to history and visual arts in creating
In their award letter, Terry L. Davis, AASLH president and chief
executive officer, wrote that the award is the prize for the "the
nations most prestigious competition for recognition of achievement
in state and local history."
By MIMI KO CRUZ
Sowing Dreams, Cultivating Lives: Nikkei Farmers
in Pre-World War II Orange County
New exhibit capturing the pre-war history of OC Nikkei farmers will
open Saturday at Cal State Fullerton
The first Nikkei community in Orange County was established around
the 1900's by Japanese farmers who emigrated from Japan with hope
of building better lives. However, their journey to a new land wasn't
so easy; rather it was a constant struggle of adapting into a new
society where they experienced difficult living conditions, prejudice
and wartime incarceration.
The stories of these early immigrants will be captured through a
new exhibition, "Sowing:
Dreams, Cultivating Lives:
Nikkei Farmers in Pre-World War II Orange County" starting
Feb. 10 through July 29 at the Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei
Heritage Museum at the Fullerton Arboretum, California State University,
Fullerton. The opening ceremony is scheduled on this Saturday, from
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The exhibition will feature the lives of Orange
County's Japanese American farmers from their first arrival in the
1900's until their relocation and internment in the spring of 1942.
The exhibition's floor is divided into sections covering immigration,
family life, community, social organizations and farming.
"Some of the interesting things (about the exhibition) are
the details that involve personal stories," said Stephanie
George, collections curator for the university's Center for Oral
& Public History. "You are going to have a glance into
their lives; what they did in their free time, how they felt about
themselves, what was important in their farmland, and the values
that have passed down to their children. Then we also discuss some
of the larger issues of what people did with their farms and equipment
(during their incarceration), and how did they go about trying to
restructure their lives in a very short period of time."
The exhibition will also feature a seven-feet-tall,
10-feet-wide artwork by New York artist Mike Saijo. His work, based
on local photographs and writings in "Echo"
from the pre-war period, will measure and reflect the sense of community
spirit of the Japanese American farmers. "It's
a contemporary piece of art that reflects another generation,"
George said. "It brings together all those areas of farming,
community, family, working on the earth and mental and spiritual
of the purposes of this exhibition, she said, is to introduce a
space where visitors can experience in so many different levels;
not only by visual but also by audio and sense. In the children's
area, children can learn about farming by touching different kinds
of artificial vegetables and harvesting them at a vegetable garden.
At the family section, visitors will step into a pre-war dining
and kitchen setting where an antiquated radio is playing weather
reports. At the last section of the exhibit, a flat-screen television
and slide shows will introduce visitors "Uprooting Lives"
of the Nikkei farmers when they were sent to internment camps during
World War II. Research for the exhibition was started by collecting
oral histories and photographs held at the Center for Oral and Public
History, George said. "There was a Japanese American oral history
project started in the 70's. We went through all kinds of primary
documents, newspapers, and government records like U.S. Census.
They have all kinds of agricultural information and population records,"
And then, they approached some of the Japanese American farmers
to collect their personal stories. "We've been really just
delighted that there have been a lot of Japanese Americans who come
in and offered their help," she said. "I think the words
are kind of spreading that people stop by and offer their ideas,
so it really expands our education as well." One of these community
supporters, George Kato, a member of the Nikkei Community Volunteer
Committee, points out the significance of preserving the Japanese
American agricultural history. "I believe many people are interested
in the original group of Japanese immigrants who started agriculture
in Orange County," he said. "During the late 1920's to
1930's, it was a very difficult period for them to start the business
here, but because of their effort, Orange County agriculture as
a whole made tremendous contribution in the pre-war period."
The Nikkei Community Volunteer Committee,
which founded by the late Clarence Nishizu, has helped the university
by organizing the fundraising for the museum building project. Nishizu
passed away Jan. 25, 2006 before reaching the goal amount of $750,000,
which has reached by the end of the year. "While he was alive
he wanted to reach the goal, but then he died before that. And by
realizing that that was his last dream, Clarence's brother John
Nishizu and family took it up on by themselves to come up with the
amount from their family trust. So we are very happy about Clarence
who's no longer here with us but in heaven he knows his goal has
been reached," Kato said.
County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum, 1900 Associated
Rd., Fullerton, opens Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m. by
appointment. Admission is free. For more information call the museum
at (714) 278-3407 or visit www.arboretum.fullerton.edu