Opportunity No.1

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ARTWORK NEWS

Works of Mike Sasaki RUBBING DOWN THE CEDAR SURFACE FOR WALL ART
This recent piece is painted on a textured sugi (Japanese cedar) panel. The 5 inch wood panels were joined flush, so the surface appears as one seamless board. The texturization was created with a wire brush, which rubbed away the soft grain (early, spring time growth of the tree) leaving the more dense, late growth (autumn) rings proud to the surface. The subject is a bust in profile, but a heavily distorted one, echoing ancient art of the past. The simplification of the head and eye, and the omission of the features points to the topic of human perception and how the psyche is quick to recognize a representation of an object, despite the great difference in appearance from the object seen directly. See another sugi panel piece by scrolling down ("Relief Painting No.1").

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Ordering Artwork:
All available work including wood forms may be purchased directly by contacting me at info@mikesasaki.com and the wood forms are also available through the online shop. Inquire about paying by installments.




“We are Love. Love is the field of Being, which we are. Thoughts create a second from the one. This second is not real but we think it is real and we revert it back onto ourselves creating a self-image. This pattern is active all through our lives until we see the falseness of it and find truth in wholeness, in Love.” ~MS



Some Work
Sample Work 1 Sample Work 2
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Connect to regularly posted pictures and info of the abstract sculptures
 





Welcome to the hub of my artwork online : )
Connect to news, new artwork, notes on inspiration, process, and poetry on facebook; follow the sculpting process real-time on instagram or read my poetry blog. There are slideshow portfolios on each web page (see the buttons in the top menu bar of this home page) which exhibit one type of work (like "paintings", "craft" and "design") and of course an overview of my endeavours here on the home page. I am reachable at info@mikesasaki.com and appreciate questions and inquiries. New sculptures are regularly listed for sale on my online Etsy shop where I ship to buyers worldwide.





Artistic Approach
My work:
The arrival at the present artistic approach was less constructed than discovered. Removing irrelevant ideas from my mind, thus uncovering more mental space, allows general concepts with much greater potency to appear. It is the via negativa, the discovering of truth through negating the false. I find this process to be so important not only for the purpose of working more efficiently but also for the quality of life as a whole. As I continue to investigate this subject through the studying of material which includes Neo-Platonic and Vedantic metaphysics, I express my findings through not only visual art but also through writing and poetry which can be found on my blog (link at top of page) and facebook.

For this brief essay I have chosen to include the aspect of integrity. I feel this topic to be of utmost importance in the face of globalization. What I call "irresponsible advertising" is that which interferes with the peaceful order in our lives; or, that which exploits the unwary. This type of advertising is so common and it is for this very reason that it needs to be addressed. In general, treating others with respect and not exploiting them or bothering them is a commonly accepted notion, but why should it be different in advertising? I am of the reasoning that if we are going to move in a healthy direction as a human race with regards to our species and the balance of the planet as a whole, this issue of integrity must first be recognized.

Influences:
Here are a few specific influences which will give those who are interested a sense of the ground from which many of my themes are built.

J. Krishnamurti: He repeatedly insisted that he was not to be followed, that his words were not to be taken as dogma, that what he was urging us to look at needed to be questioned by each one of us individually so as to discover the truth (beyond concept) for ourselves. He entreated us to question "time", "thought", and our own "authority", in order to be totally psychologically free.

Yoga: The asanas (postures) effect the overall health of the body greatly. This in turn effects the health of the mind. In other words, they prepare the ground for the arrival of deep insight—but how we conduct our lives remains the real test. The tradition of yoga encompasses much more than the asanas. As Patanjali's Yoga Sutras demonstrate, the discipline of yoga involves subtle metaphysical investigation in order to realize the deepest connection we have with the universe (since we are not separate from it).

Plato: Plato's "Forms" are the essences of specific objects. They are invisible and intelligible. When I chose the name "Wood Forms" for my sculptures I knew it was a general name and that it suited the abstract nature of the pieces but I had yet to be acquainted in depth with Plato's work. After learning of his Forms, there was an instant spark of recognition regarding its relevance. As I continue to research, the parallel between Plato's Ideas (pun) and my ideas ever strengthens and gives rise to new insights regarding the art making process in general.

The Wood Forms:
I make "visual poetry" through the use of highly abstract form, the parts of the sculpture being analogous to the words of the poem; yet as we know, parts are inextricably related to the whole and a difficulty arises when attempting to differentiate them from it. This exemplifies a common theme coursing through my work—namely that of non-duality. This concept is found in a plethora of philosophical traditions, perhaps most popularly in Taoism. Regarding non-duality, I find the following point to be most essential: it is not the concept we are after, but rather the actuality to which the concept points. The concept of non-duality as represented by the yin yang symbol is easily grasped, yet the truth of it is a much more subtle and involved issue. To contact such a truth requires deep psychological and ontological investigation.

Geometry and consequently form are fundamental aspects of the cosmos. The beauty of the sensible world reminds us of this fact. Human beings make art—whether it is a chair, a broom, or a sandwich. Art is an aspect of our species. Through abstract sculpture I am able to enquire into the core aspects of Nature and give birth to individual expressions of platonic Forms upon which I stumble.

Written in October 2021. Revised in January 2024.




Autobiography
I was born in Toronto, Canada in 1982. I practiced drawing a lot as a child out of enjoyment. I was also taught woodworking from my father at a young age. In high school I started using clay for sculptures. I graduated from the York University/Sheridan College Honours Bachelor Program in Design in 2005. There, I implemented my drawings into my designs quite often. I was especially interested in the book design course because we learned how to bind books by hand and it gave me an opportunity to write, illustrate, design and bind a volume. This allowed for a totally integrated design where the paper's texture relates to the theme of the book, the dust jacket design relates to the stitching style, etc. I went on to live in Tokyo for 5 years deepening my investigation into Japanese culture and philosophy, and practicing Shorinji Kempo - a martial art. The gardens, block prints, festivals, tea ceremony and architecture were deeply inspiring. I worked illustrating teaching material, designing new year's cards, and illustrating t-shirts. When I returned to Canada I worked at Lynrich Arts in Toronto where I provided graphic design, illustration, and art teaching. I have been doing freelance graphic design and illustration since 2005. I started using wood as my main mode of expression since realizing in 2011 that it was my choice medium. The ideas and concepts for the sculptures were developed shortly thereafter. I currently live in Metro Vancouver, Canada.