MIKE SAIJO  
1974-PRESENT
LOS ANGELES BASED CONTEMPORARY MIXED MEDIA ARTIST
       
 

Artist Statement

My art is an expression of an idea, while seeking to investigate the possibilities of text based forms. I am interested in the epistemological problems of abstraction, myths, nature of reality, and aesthetic meditation. Often manipulating the structure of books from a sequential order to a spatial order, and creating a space for change, layering, and appropriation of images to make symbolic use of its objects.

The process involves using a Xerox printing machine, a mathematic formula, and Cartesian grid system, layering histories and images taken out of context, and re-contextualized to harbor a sense of meaning which instigates a search for the one “true” meaning of the work. (The Loft)

     

Bio

Saijo was born and raised in Los Angeles, and was influenced by media culture (i.e. books, television, movies, magazines). Saijo takes the approach of “open text” which takes an object, such as a book, transforms the material from sequential to spatial order, and opens up a space to create new meaning. His unconventional process often involves Xerox copy technology, office supplies, and building materials to construct art with a wide range of subject matter from mid-century modern architecture, WWII photos, cinema stills, imaginary landscapes, and the history of fashion.

Saijo rejects the notion of art as a fixed idea defined by history, and instead he reclaims history, and redefines it based on “human experience”. His work takes the form of installation, drawing, sculpture, and mixed media.

Saijo refers to the notion of “memory construction” as an entry point to understanding his complex body of work. Memory consists of a combination of feeling, words and image which shape our perception of reality. As a youth Saijo spent much of his time sailing with his father off the coast of Southern California. Such memories have manifested in his recent work which explores themes of loss, entropy, transformation, and the unconscious: represented by an oceanscape where the boundaries are blurred between the sky and the sea. Mythology and classic tales, like Homer’s Odyssey and Stories of the Seven Seas, are reduced to abstraction, thus leaving the viewer to weave their own meaning into the work, navigating through a personal dreamscape, and continuing on a journey between the familiar and the unknown. (Bleicher Golightly)

Mike Saijo was born in 1974, he attended Pasadena Art Center College of Design, and grew up in the suburbs outside of Los Angeles. He started out looking at many books and magazines and later influenced by graffiti art and Oshuji-Japanese calligraphy. 

After high school he made his first ‘book piece’ using pages of  the New Testament bible, and printing an image of Senator Daniel Innoye he found from a history book and began to make art about ‘making history‘.

Influenced by the tradition of ancient manuscripts, he copies information using a xerox copy machine onto old discolored pages of books creating a sense of the old, while venturing into the new. He maps out territories of knowledge from a wide range of resources and reworks them to operate on its own terms. For him it is an attempt to take ownership of the past, and effect how we see our present historical situation as we enter into moment of accelerated change and may experience memory loss. 

He has exhibited at MOCA, and in the permanent collection at the Orange County Museum of Agriculture and Nikkei History at Cal State Fullerton, as well as University of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. (MOPLA)

Mike Saijo explores the notions of “representation and history” by forming constructions and site-specific installations—with the text of actual book pages juxtaposing imagery of historical incidents and events which have had significant local impact. Together, image and text undergo a process of reduction and abstraction, combining to articulate the point that “now” is as much “history” as history is now.

The art-making process involves deconstruction, appropriation, and re-contextualization of text and image. Mike is interested in the continual process of decomposition of meanings which do not correspond to conventional, constructed “reality”, but at the same time create new meaning. His artistic choices are made through a combination of research, hypothesizing, and personal ethics guided by a certain intuitive logic where conventional thought may not apply. (Lens Scratch)

Mike Saijo uses an innovative process applying Xerox technology and pages from discarded books to create what can be viewed as post-modern conceptual painting. He juxtaposes textual fields with imagery of personal and historical significance often selected by an intuitive process. Saijo explores the notions of “distant reading” by manipulating the book from a sequential order to a spatial order and opens up the possibilities of interpretation. His constructions are derived from Ludwig Wittgenstein’s idea of  ’colloquial language’ that every sense can be expressed without having an idea how what each word means just as one speaks without knowing how single sounds are produced. (The Loft)

 

Curriculum Vitae

MIKE SAIJO
MIKE.SAIJO@GMAIL.COM
CELL (213) 359-8746

Updated as of 1/5/2016

Education

1994-1998   Pasadena Art Center College of Design, Fine Art / Film
1992-1994   Pasadena City College, Graphic Design / Fine Art

Awards and Honors

2015            Public Art Invitation - Utility Box Project, South Pasadena Arts Council
2015            CA 101 - Redondo Beach Power Plant, 2nd Place and Public Choice Award
2012            Institute for Arts and Olfaction - Research Fellow, Los Angeles, California
2007            Columbia University Medical Center Community Relations, NYC, New York
2006            28th Annual Wallworks Juried Competition, LA Artcore, LA Brewerey Annex
2006            2nd Annual International Artists Festival in Thailand, Bangkok
2005            Public Art RFQ, LAPD Headquarters, LA County Cultural Affair Department

Solo Exhibitions

2016            INAKA, SPARC Gallery, South Pasadena Arts Council, Pasadena, California
2015            New and Past Works, LA Artcore, Brewery Annex, Los Angeles, California
2014            Living Legacy of Ethel Percy Andrus, USC IGM Art Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2014            We Are Spiritual Machines, Porch Gallery, Ojai California
2014            Soft Machine: DNA 2, USC IGM Art Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2013            Portraits at Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles, California
2011            Soft Machine: DNA, USC IGM Art Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2010            Dream Deferred, Bleicher Galleries, Los Angeles, California
2009            One Piece Bleicher / Golightly Gallery, Santa Monica, California
2008            3000 Worlds in a Moment, LA Artcore, Brewery Annex, Los Angeles, California
2008            Down By Law, Julie Rico Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2007            Corpus Xeroxysm 4, LA Artcore Brewery Annex, Los Angeles, California
2006            Corpus Xeroxysm 3, Tompkins Square Library, East Village, NYC, New York
2005            Corpus Xeroxysm 2, INRI Studios, Los Angeles, California
2004            Corpus Xeroxysm 1, 611 Studio, Los Angeles, California

Group Exhibitions

2015            CA 101, Redondo Beach Power Plant, Redondo Beach, California
2015            Pacific Asia Museum Fund Raiser Exhibition, Pasadena, California
2015            UNUSUAL MEDIUMS, BG Gallery, Santa Monica, California
2015            BOLD NOSTALGIA, BG Gallery, Santa Monica, California
2015            ADL ArtWorks Fundraiser Exhibition, Pritzkers Residence
2015            Boyle Heights, LA PLAZA de la Cultura y Artes, Los Angeles, California
2015            Greyscale Wonderland, Bleicher Gallery, Santa Monica, California
2015            CUSTOM, Bleicher Gallery, Santa Monica, California
2014            IDENTITY, Snap! Orlando, Orlando, Florida
2014            Living Legacy of Ethel Percy Andrus, Ojai Valley Museum, Ojai, California
2014            CUSTOM, Bleicher Gorman Gallery, Bergamont Station, Los Angeles, California
2014            INTERSECTIONS at the Breed Street Shul, Boyle Heights, California
2014            Diverted Destruction, Loft at Liz’s Los Angeles, California
2014            MOPLA Photography Exhibition, Loft at Liz’s, Los Angeles, California
2013            Ojai Art Festival, Porch Gallery, Ojai, California
2013            ADL ArtWorks Exhibition, curated by Caspar Martin, Pritzker Residence
2013            GLOWfest, Bleicher Gallery, Santa Monica, California
2013            Nostalgia Bold, Bleicher Gallery, Santa Monica, California
2013            Ramajangala University of Technology, Rattanakosin, Bangkok, Thailand
2013            9th Annual International Arts Festival,Pho Chan Campus, Thanvaburi, Bangkok, Thailand
2012            Last Exhibition, Bleicher Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2012            Flight Gallery, San Antonio, Texas
2012            Opening Exhibition, Bleicher Gallery, Santa Monica, California
2010            Photography Show, The Loft at Liz's, Los Angeles, California
2010            Diverted Destruction, The Loft at Liz's, Los Angeles, California
2009            A Long Long Summer, S1F Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2009            FRESH Silent Auction, MOCA Geffen Contemporary, Los Angeles, California
2008            Human Botany, Julie Rico Gallery, Downtown Los Angeles, California
2007            Cheap and Plentiful, curated by Mark Cousin, 207gallery, Inwood, NewYork
2007            Micro Gestalt, curated by Airom Bleicher, 207gallery, Inwood, New York
2007            Orange County Museum of Agriculture and Nikkei Heritage, Cal State Fullerton
2007            Micro Gestalt, Orphanage Gallery, Silverlake, California
2006            Gallery A, Two Person Exhibition, Los Feliz, California
2006            LA Artcore Annual Benefit Auction, Union Center for the Arts, Los Angeles, California
2006            Ramajangala University of Technology, Rattanakosin, Bangkok
2006            2nd Annual International Arts Festival, Pho Chan Campus, Thanvaburi, Bangkok
2005            Best in Show, deSotoGallery, Los Angeles, California
2005            Java Studios Winter Salon, Brooklyn New York
2005            deSoto Gallery PhotoNY, Metropolitan Pavilion, New York
2005            LA Artcore Wallworks Competition, Brewery Annex, Los Angeles, California
2005            LA Artfest, Sci-Arc Campus, Los Angles CA
2004            Synthetic Zero, Bronx, New York
2004            Broken Arm Long Shadow – 3 person show, Kristi Engle Gallery , Los Angeles
2004            deSoto Gallery Art LA, Santa Monica, California
2004            MJ Higgins Fine Art Landscape Exhibition, Los Angeles, California
2003            MJ Higgins Fine Art Marilyn Exhibition, Los Angeles, California
1997            Pasadena City College Art Gallery, Pasadena, California

Site-Specific / Public Works

2014            Ranch House Restaurant, Ojai, California
2014            Umami Burger, Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, California
2014            Soft Machine Project, Living Legacy of Ethel Percy Andrus, The Gables, Ojai, California
2014            Soft Machine Project, Living Legacy of Ethel Percy Andrus, Lincoln High School, Los Angeles, California
2013            Homeboy Industries in Chinatown, Los Angeles, California
2013            Umami Burger, Greenwich Village, New York
2013            Umami Burger, Palo Alto, California
2012            Umami Burger, Hermosa Beach, California
2012            Digital Divide Café, an internet cafe business art project in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, California
2010            Los Angeles Architectural Survey, in a real estate office in Silverlake / Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California
2007            Baudrillard Politics Anime, during an Obama Fundraiser at 207 Gallery, Inwood, NYC
2006-07      Pollock Equation, installed in front of school doorway in Inwood, NYC
2005            Splendor, founded an “unofficial public art site” where street artists post up their work in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District

Performances

2012            Yoda’s Brain, by Chromatists TCL London / Los Angeles Exchange Exhibition, Los Angeles, California
2011            Everything is Happening at Once, Sound Performance at Bleicher Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2010            History of Riots in Los Angeles, Sound Performance at Bleicher Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2006            D.E.A.D., Sound Performance at Tompkins Square Library New York, New York
1997            Entropic Tailspin, Video/Performance, Rose Bowl Parking Lot, Pasadena, California

Curatorial Works

2012            OddFellow Hall / Studio, Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, California
2012            Digital Divide Gallery Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, California
2012            Soft Machine: DNA Travelling Installation, Digital Divide Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2012            Forum on the History of Medicine, USC Institute for Genetic Medicine, Los Angeles, California
2011            Soft Machine: DNA Travelling Installation, USC Institute for Genetic Medicine, Los Angeles, California
2011            Soft Machine: DNA Travelling Installation, Bleicher Gallery, Santa Monica, California
2010            Roots & Wings Project, Co-Curator Angela Penaredondo SPARC, Santa Monica, California
2007            Abstractions, 207 Gallery, Inwood, New York
2007            History of Conspiracy, 207 Gallery, Inwood, New York

Preparator and Art Related Work

2015            Creative Partner, Shima Entertainment and Arts
2015            Assistant Director of Japanese Affairs for LA Art Show
2014            Illustration Art for DOKA B100 by Dr. Ernest Nagamatsu
2014            Commission for LANSCA Gift to Nagoya City Hall
2014            Gift to Japanese American Cultural Center, Remembering Sadako Art Book
2012            Designed and built interior of Digital Divide Cafe
2011            Designed and built interior of Bleicher Gallery
2009-15      Teaching Private Art Lessons to Elderly and Autistic Young Adults
2009-12      Art Handler - James Corcoran Gallery
2009            Installer - Taiwanese Cultural Center, New York
2008            Lead Preparator - Asian Contemporary Art Fair ArtLA
2007            Lead Preparator - Asian Contemporary Art Fair ArtLA
2006-07      Installer/Director of 207 Gallery, Inwood, New York
2004-05      Practical F/X Assistant – Special Effect Solutions

Bibliography

Andrus, For Us, by Mark Lewis, Ojai Quarterly 2014
We Are Spiritual Machines, by Demitri Corbin, Ojai Quarterly 2014
Interiors 2012
Angeleno Magazine - Arts Issue 2012
Acorn Newspaper 2011
Los Angeles Times Thursday Pick of the Week 2011
Los Angeles Times Sunday Home Section 2009
Rafu Shimpo Newspaper October 2008
Shelter Magazine 2007
Westside The Spirit August 30, 2007 Artists at Work by Carla Zanoni 2007
New York Times August 19, 2007 Pollock Equation by Carla Zanoni 2007
NewYork Magazine Art Candy on-line publication July 2007
Manhattan Times, Inwood Edition by Mike Fittelson July 12-July 18 2007
Cal State Fullerton Inside Magazine May 2007
Los Angles Magazine Design Issue 2007
Let Go Magazine Issue #2 2007
At Home Magazine 2006
2nd Annual International Arts Festival in Thailand Catalog Summer 2006
Lifescape Magazine Canvassing the Future 2006
Art LA Catalog, January 2006
The Book LA, Mike Saijo, by Mia Taylor, Spring 2005


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