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


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


2019      Public Choice Award – CA 101 Redondo Beach, California

2018      1st Place and Public Choice Award – CA 101 Redondo Beach, California   

2016      2nd Place and Public Choice Award – CA 101 Redondo Beach, California

2015      AARP Future of Transportation Award, LHS LAUSD, Los Angeles California 

2014      Occupy Award, Cal State University Long Beach, Getty Museum, California        

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 Brewrey Annex

2006      2nd Annual International Artists Festival in Thailand, Bangkok

2005      Public Art RFQ LAPD Headquarters, LA County Cultural Affair Department

Solo Exhibitions

2021    Q|O Quantum Ocean & Mutant Mountain, BG Gallery   

2020    Under the Bridge with Flora Kao, Maiden LA, Marina Del Rey  

2020     Q|O Pier 2 Art Center Artist Residency Exhibition, Kaohsuing, Taiwan

2018     Spiritual Legacy Project, Akiba Art Lab, Tokyo, Japan

2018     Spiritual Legacy LA Art Core Union Center for the Arts

2018      Portrait Factory LA Art Show

2017     Spiritual Legacy Installation, Union Church of Los Angeles, Los Angeles 

2017     Terminal Island Installation, USC IGM, Art Gallery, Los Angeles

2016     Inaka, Sparc Gallery, South Pasadena

2016     Inaka, USC IGM Art Gallery, Los Angeles   

2016     Sophia Gaia, installation LA Artcore Brewery Annex

2015     Recent Works LA Artcore Brewery Annex  

2014     Living Legacy of Ethel Percy Andrus, USC IGM Art Gallery, Los Angeles

2014     We Are Spiritual Machines, Porch Gallery, Ojai California

2014     Soft Machine: DNA 2 USC IGM Art Gallery, Los Angeles

2013     Portraits at Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles

2011     Soft Machine: DNA  USC IGM Art Gallery Los Angeles 

2010     Dream Deferred Bleicher Galleries Los Angeles

2009     One Piece Bleicher / Golightly Gallery Santa Monica

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

2008     Down By Law, Julie Rico Gallery, Los Angeles

2007     Corpus Xeroxysm 4 LA Artcore Brewery Annex, Los Angeles

2006     Corpus Xeroxysm 3 Tompkins Square Library East Village, NYC

2005     Corpus Xeroxysm 2 INRI Studios LA

2004     Corpus Xeroxysm 1 611 Studio LA

Group Exhibitions

2021    Greyscale Wonderland, BG Gallery, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA

2021    California Lite, Curated by Julie Rico, Arcade Project, NYC. 

2020    Artists with Beirut Emergency Fund Online Auction

2020     Photo Flux: Unshuttered LA, curated by Jill Moniz, The J Paul Getty Museum

2020     Art Under the Influence, Ave 50 Studio, Los Angeles, CA

2020     Greyscale Wonderland, BG Gallery, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA  

2019     Portrait Factory, BG Gallery Scope Miami, Miami Florida

2019     PORTAL, BG Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2019     FLOWERS, USC IGM Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2019     CA 101 Redondo Beach California

2019     Japanese Artist Group Show, Loft at Liz Los Angeles, CA  

2019      LA ARTShow, Portrait Factory BG Gallery Los Angeles Convention Center

2018     KaoshuingPhoto – Spiritual Legacy Project, Kaoshuing, Taiwan  

2018     Jene Nete Art Installation CA 101, Redondo Beach CA

2018     Pacific Asia Museum Fundraiser Gala – Pasadena CA

2018     CA 101 Redondo Beach, California

2018     LA ARTShow, Portrait FactorySpectrum Gestalt BG Gallery, Los Angeles CA 

2017     Anti-Defamation League – Artworks Fundraiser Exhibition (ADL)

2017     Attention to All Persons: Japanese American National Museum (JANM) LA, CA

2017     Ship Building, LA Yacht Club, San Pedro, CA 

2017     Terminal Island Installation, CA 101, Redondo Beach

2016     ELEMENTS, Sophia Gaia installation Loft at Liz’s Los Angeles, CA

2015     ADL Artworks Exhibition, Malibu, CA

2015     AES Redondo Beach Power Plant, Redondo Beach, CA

2015     Boyle Heights, LA PLAZA de la Cultura y Artes, Los Angeles, CA

2015     Greyscale Wonderland, Bleicher Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2015     CUSTOM, Bleicher Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2014     IDENTITY Snap! Orlando, Orlando, Florida

2014     Living Legacy of Ethel Percy Andrus, Ojai Valley Museum, Ojai, CA

2014     CUSTOM Bleicher Gorman Gallery, Bergamont Station, LA, CA

2014     INTERSECTIONS at the Breed Street Shul. Boyle Heights, California

2014     Diverted Destruction, Loft at Liz’s Los Angeles, CA

2014     MOPLA Photography Exhibition at Loft at Liz’s. Los Angeles, CA

2013     Ojai Art Festival, Porch Gallery, Ojai, California 

2013     ADL ArtWorks Exhibition Curated by Caspar Martin, Pritzker Residence

2013     GLOWfest, Bleicher Gallery, Santa Monica

2013     Nostalgia Bold, Bleicher Gallery, Santa Monica

2013     Ramajangala University of Technology Rattanakosin

2013     9th Annual International Arts Festival Pho Chan Campus Thanvaburi, Bangkok

2012     Yodas Brain by Chromatists TCL London / Los Angeles Exchange Exhibit LA

2012     Last Exhibition, Bleicher Gallery, Los Angeles   

2012     Flight Gallery, San Antonio, Texas

2012     Opening Exhibition Bleicher Gallery

2010     Photography Show The Loft at Liz Los Angeles

2010     Diverted Destruction The Loft at Liz Los Angeles

2009     A Long Long Summer S1F Gallery Los Angeles

2009     FRESH Silent Auction MOCA, Geffen Contemporary Los Angeles  

2008     Human Botany, Julie Rico Gallery, Downtown Los Angeles

2008     Art LA, De Soto Gallery, Los Angeles

2008     Photo LA, De Soto Gallery Los Angeles

2007     Cheap and Plentiful curated by Mark Cousin 207gallery Inwood, NewYork

2007     Micro Gestalt 207gallery curated by Airom Bleicher Inwood, New York

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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