Mike Saijo

Mike Saijo, Andy and Edie
Mike Saijo, Andy and Edie

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Mike Saijo was born in 1974 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.

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 ocean scape 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.

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. 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.

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”. Using an “open text” approach, Saijo transforms an object, such as a book, from sequential to spatial order 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.

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.

Artist CV


Pasadena Art Center College of Design 1994-1998
Pasadena City College Pasadena, California Graphics Design / Fine Art 1992-1994


2012            Research Fellow, Institute for Arts and Olfaction, Los Angeles, California

2007            Columbia University Medical Center, Community Relations, New York, NY

2006            2nd Annual International Artists Festival in Thailand, Bangkok

2006            28th Annual Wallworks Juried Competition LA Artcore, LA Brewery Annex, Los Angeles, CA

2005            Public Art RFQ LAPD Headquarters, LA County Cultural Affairs Department, Los Angeles, CA

Solo Exhibitions

2011            Soft Machine: DNA, USC IGM Art Gallery, Los Angeles

2011            A Dream Deferred – The Intersection of Jewish, Latino, and Japanese-American Histories- Boyle Heights (circa 1940’s), Bleicher Gallery, La Brea

2009            One Piece, Bleicher / Golightly

2008            3000 Worlds in a Moment, LA Artcore, Brewery Annex. Los Angeles, CA

2008            Down By Law, Julie Rico Gallery, Los Angeles

2007            Corpus Xeroxysm 3, Tompkins Square Library, East Village, NYC

2005            Corpus Xeroxysm 2, INRI Studios, LA

2004            Corpus Xeroxysm 1, 611 Studio, LA


LInteriors. 2012

Angeleno Magazine, Arts Issue. 2012

Acorn Newspaper. 2011

Studio Guest Interview (A Dream Deferred), by Tony Valdez, Fox 11 News Television. March 27, 2011

Los Angeles Times, Thursday Pick of the Week. 2011

Sowing Dreams, Cultivating Lives. University of California Press, 2009

Los Angeles Times, Sunday Home Section. 2009

Rafu Shimpo Newspaper. October 2008

Shelter Magazine. 2007

Upper Manhattan Arts Stroll, by Mike Fitelson, Manhattan Times. 2007

Artists at Work, by Carla Zanoni, Westside The Spirit. August 30, 2007

In a Doorway, a Gentle Call to Arms (Pollack Equation), by Carla Zanoni, New York Times. August 19, 2007

The Mathematics of Jackson Pollock on a Street Corner in Inwood, by Rachel Wolff, New York Magazine. August 6, 2007

New York Magazine, Art Candy. July 2007

Manhattan Times, Inwood Edition, by Mike Fitelson. July 12, 2007

Cal State Fullerton Inside Magazine. May 2007

Sowing Dreams, Cultivating Lives: Nikkei Farmers in Pre-World War II Orange County, by Michiko Tamura, Rafu Shimpo. February 10, 2007

Los Angeles Magazine, Design Issue. 2007

Let Go Magazine, Issue #2. 2007

At Home Magazine. 2006

2nd Annual International Arts Festival in Thailand, Catalog. Summer 2006

Canvassing the Future, Lifescape Magazine. 2006

Art LA, Catalog. January 2006

Mike Saijo, by Mia Taylor, The Book LA. Spring 2005

Group Exhibitions

2012            Print x Print, Bleicher Gallery La Brea

2011            Flight Gallery, San Antonio, Texas

2011            IG’NITE: A study from street level, Bangkok, Thailand

2011            Auction by the Bay, Bleicher/Golightly

2010            Anachronious Mind Tree, Bleicher Gallery, La Brea

2010            Vignettes, Bleicher / Golightly

2010            Interactive Art Exhibit, Hamilton Galleries

2010            Diversity in Development, The Loft at Liz’s

2010            It’s a Numbers Game, The Loft at Liz’s

2009            Diverted Destruction Part 2, The Loft at Liz’s

2009            A Long Long Summer, S1F Gallery, Los Angeles

2009            Fresh Silent Auction MOCA, Geffen Contemporary, Los Angeles

2009            Human Botany, Julie Rico Gallery, Downtown Los Angeles

2008            Mike Saijo: Lost and Found + Kiyoshi Nakazawa, LA Artcore, Brewery Annex

2007            Cheap and Plentiful, curated by Mark Cousin, 207 Gallery, Inwood, NY

2007            History of Conspiracy, curated by Mike Saijo, 207 Gallery, Inwood, NY

2007            Gen Arts Biscuit Company Loft Building, Los Angeles, CA

2007            Micro Gestalt, curated by Airom Bleicher, 207 Gallery, Inwood, NY

2007            Sowing Dreams, Cultivating Lives: Nikkei Farmers in Pre-World War II Orange County, Orange County Museum of Agriculture and Nikkei Heritage, Cal State Fullerton, CA

2007            Micro Gestalt, Orphanage Gallery, Silverlake, CA

2006            Two Person Exhibition, Gallery A, Los Feliz, CA

2006            LA Artcore Annual Benefit Auction Union, Art Center, Los Angeles, CA

2006            Winter Show, 207 Gallery, Inwood, NY

2006            Lust for Life, 207 Gallery, Inwood, NY

2006            University of Technology Bangkok, Thailand

2006            Ramajangala University of Technology Rattanakosin Pho Chan Campus 2nd Annual International Arts Festival, Thanvaburi, Bangkok

2006            Best in Show, deSotoGallery, Los Angeles, CA

2006            Synthetic Zero, Bronx, NY

2006            Broken Art Long Shadow, 3 Person Show, Kristi Engle Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2006            deSoto Gallery, Art LA, Santa Monica, CA

2005            Winter Salon, Java Studios, Brooklyn, NY

2005            deSoto Gallery, PhotoNY, Metropolitan Pavilion, NY

2005            LA Artcore Wallworks Competition, Brewery Annex, Los Angeles, CA

2005            LA Artfest, Sci-Arc Campus, Los Angeles, CA

2005            Landscape Exhibition, MJ Higgins Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA

1993            Pasadena City College Art Gallery, Pasadena, CA

Exhibits Curated by Mike Saijo

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

2012            Forum on the History of Medicine, USC Institute for Genetic Medicine, Los Angeles

2011            Soft Machine: DNA Travelling Installation, USC Institute for Genetic Medicine, Los Angeles

2011            Soft Machine: DNA Travelling Installation, Bleicher Gallery, Santa Monica

2011            Roots and Wings Project, Co-Curator with Angela Penaredondo, SPARC, Santa Monica

2007            Abstractions, 207 Gallery, Inwood, New York

2007            History of Conspiracy, 207 Gallery, Inwood, New York
Site-Specific Public Works

2012            Digital Divide Café, an internet cafe business art project in Lincoln Heights, LA

2010            Los Angeles Architectural Survey, in a real estate office in Silverlake / Los Feliz, LA

2007            Baudrillard Politics Anime, during an Obama Fundraiser at 207 Gallery, Inwood, NYC

2007            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.

2012            Yoda’s Brain by Chromatists, TCL London / Los Angeles Exchange Exhibition, LA

2011            Psychic Driving – Sound Performance, Occupy Movement, LA

2011            Everything is Happening at Once – Sound Performance, Bleicher Gallery, LA

2010            History of Riots in Los Angeles – Sound Performance, Bleicher Gallery, LA

2006            D.E.A.D. – Sound Performance, Tompkins Square Library, New York

1997            Entropic Tailspin – Video/Performance, Rose Bowl Parking Lot, Pasadena


Mike Saijo: Portrait Factory

8x8in portraits by commission for $100 and large sized options available also. If you would like to make a time to get one made, feel free to contact us using the button below. 

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For events: $40 6x6in portraits are available at a minimum of 40 portraits to book the event

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