Mike Sasaki

Region: Vancouver BC
3rd | Born 1982, Toronto


Mike took to drawing early in his life, spending focused hours honing the skill as a child. He was also taught woodworking by his father at an early age. In school he excelled in visual arts and decided to pursue a degree in Design. Mike Sasaki graduated from the Bachelor of Design Honours program at York University / Sheridan College in 2005. He was especially inspired by the bookbinding course due to its hands-on nature. He then went on to live in Tokyo for 5 years deepening his investigation into Japanese culture and philosophy. There he studied a martial art called Shorinji Kempo which further inspired him to delve deeper into the energetic aspects of humanness. He came upon his resolve to dedicate himself to the craft of woodworking by realizing how his background in other arts could enhance the outcomes of the wooden objects. He also realized his passion for working with his hands and building structures. He has since been emersing himself in the world of wood, carving and fine art sculpture – learning and doing has gained him much experience and skill. He especially enjoys the beauty of the hand tools developed in various cultures which he implements into his work as he sees fit. He is currently focusing on his “symbiosis” line of sculptures.

Artist Statement

The “symbiosis” line of sculptures are products of a concept which was arrived at through the following factors: 1. An investigation into psychological conditioning and the possibility of the state of timeless presence. 2. A search for pure forms shed of extravagance as a means of investigating elementary formal relationships, the significance of curves, and the interconnectedness of parts within the whole. 3. An understanding of the material which allows such designs to be constructed in a sound and aesthetically pleasing way. Other inspirational contributors include Japanese aesthetic principles such as: shizenteki - a reverence for nature, shibui - a quality of unaffected refinement or unpretentious timelessness, mui - a state of unaffected calmness in harmony with nature, mono no aware - a pathos in an awareness of impermanence coupled with the beauty of the fleeting quality of nature. Mike’s sculptures combine contours and masses found all throughout nature as the building blocks of the whole forms. For example a specific line may be bent like a spine of a mammal or it could reflect the contour of a pear. Careful attention is paid to the subtle relationship between the parts and the whole. The intent of the whole piece is to carry a sense of tranquility in the slightly imperfect harmony/resolution of suggested conflict. The physical symbiosis may suggest biomorphism, a driving characteristic through which movement in form can be executed. The sensitivity of the form is notable. Mike has come to realize how just as in an anatomical rendering, the smallest deviation from a proper line/curve can harm the integrity of the piece. The originality of the works may be attributed to the conceptual development which is constructed largely by the following constituents: 1. The exploration into finding a contemporary and culturally relevant medium and formal solution built on predominantly ancient philosophical bases 2. The striving for the most accurate possible physical expressions of the artist’s deepest questions into reality, human energetic potential and the implications and factors of human perception
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