bG gallery presents a feature exhibit of Mike Saijo’s latest body of work. The artist has created a series that focuses on boating, portraits, and mythology. Classic tales like, Homer’s Odyssey, becomes physically reimagined by Saijo.
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.