Mike Sasaki

Region: Vancouver BC
Sansei | 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.

Artist Statement

I was not consciously influenced by Plato’s “Forms” when I chose the name for my Instagram account (@sasaki.mike_woodforms) and my Etsy shop (mikesasakiwoodforms.etsy.com). However metaphysics (branch of philosophy) and self-inquiry has always fueled the sculptures’ direction from the outset. The more realizations I make regarding psychological conditioning (and therefore being liberated from said condition), the more inspiration emerges for the artwork. It was only recently that I decided to familiarize myself specifically with Plato’s work and when coming upon his “Forms” an interesting parallel with my work presented itself to me. Although at present, I have just dipped my fingers into Plato’s work, the basic correlation is as follows: I sometimes describe my sculptures as “essentialism” in that I think many of the pieces come from an essential truth regarding the human psyche, nature, perception, insight, etc. For example, the series entitled “The Inseparability of Action” is self-explanatory in this regard. Now Plato’s “Forms” refer to the essential forms of any given object. I understand this in the following way: there are many kinds of horses but if we were to define a horse in general, what would be the necessary features? Likewise, you can never draw a square with absolute precision and without line width! But the “Form” of a cube may be this abstract perfect cube. My sculptures could perhaps be described as “Forms” of metaphysical ideas. But I would not adhere strictly to this definition of my wood forms. I simply find it an interesting coincidence (or perhaps a subconscious influence which I wasn’t aware of).
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