Everything is Happening At Once (2011)

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“In some sense man is a microcosm of the universe; therefore what man is, is a clue to the universe. We are enfolded in the universe.”
David Bohm

This installation derived from this feeling of “everything happening at once”. In response to this feeling I imagined constructing a symbolic model of the universe/perception within a space of anti-gravity. The installation evolved into a sound performance version half way through the exhibition with Galen Scrogen and Julian Harmon of the indie band Morning Benders. The sound performance paying homage to Marcel Duchamp and John Cage.

An ink drawing maps out the sound equipment and installation hanging behind the steel Chocolate Grinder sculpture on a white pedestal. The sculpture was played as a percussion instrument, hit at various points “time” using a metal rod by Julian Harmon. And Galen playing an electric guitar as it lays flat on the ground using a science fiction paperback book, and turning knobs capturing radio sound waves and noise “space” from his pedals and filters. I operated a laptop as I uploaded youtube clips (ie. John Cage interviews, Cage performance for Duchamp, Merzbow, Orsen Wells radio announcement, a scene from Jean Luc Godard’s Alphaville) and played them over an amplifier speaker with an echo filter.



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“Every human being, no matter how slightly gifted he is, however subordinate his position in life maybe, has a natural need to formulate a life-view, a conception of the meaning of life and of its purpose. The person who lives esthetically also does that and the popular expression heard in all ages and from various stages is this: One must enjoy life. There are of course many variations of this, depending on the differences is the conception of enjoyment, but all are agreed to enjoy life. But the person who says that he wants to enjoy life always posits a condition that either lies outside the individual or is within the individual in such a way that is not there by virtue of the individual himself. I beg you to keep rather fixed the phrases of this last sentence, for they have been carefully chosen.”

Soren Kierkegaard Either/Or

This piece first began an exploration into the portraiture using the photographic medium. I was given the opportunity to take pictures of 2010 Miss Teen and Miss California contestants Summer of 2010. After having taken the pictures I was discontent with the results, and felt that the beauty captured in my photos were superficial and that it had to be balanced with an image which represents something eternal and immaterial. So I appropriated a diagram and quote from Joseph Campbell’s Power of Myths symbolizing the “soul” and drew it in pencil directly on the wall to the right, perpendicular to the wall of photographs.

The title came from Eliot Smith’s pop song, originally from Soren Kierkegaard’s book Either/Or.  Volume I and II represented as two intersecting planes: x-axis (ethics) and y-axis (aesthetics).

Either (aesthetics):

  1. Defined by immediacy the failure to reflect seriously upon the nature of one’s way of living.
  2. Sees the outer existence as more important. The self is entirely subject external factors.
  3. Accepts passively that one’s life is based entirely upon external factors.
  4. Tends to avoid commitments as they see it as boring.
  5. Exhaustion of aesthetic pleasure leads to boredom and despair.


Or (ethics):

  1. Defined by critical reflection, able to make and take moral responsibility and accountability for his life choices.
  2. Sees the inner existence as more important: The self shapes his own character, values, inclinations and personal identity, thus the self is partially subject to internal factors.
  3. Willing to take active control of one’s own life.
  4. Commitments like friendship, marriage, are corner stones of a responsible ethical way of existence.
  5. Strives to become a better human being through taking active role in shaping oneself and one’s manner of life.



This business card/logo designed by GETTO today was commissioned by Jesse Bliss for The Roots and Wings Project, a grass roots theater company performing in cold, sometimes haunted, abandoned prisons. The logo was drawn using sumi ink on glossy ink jet paper. After over a hundred attempts, GETTO stopped trying and thought about how this is only a small part of a much larger whole and that all the failed attempts could possibly be auctioned off at the fundraiser art exhibition curated by Angela Penaredondo. As soon as Bob Marley’s song started playing over the speakers, GETTO finally nailed it! “There’s a natural mystic flowing through the air…”

Designed in the style/color of John Coltrane’s Blue Note record cover with clean modern lines to position the logo.

Los Angeles Architectural Survey

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Modern Movement Series (2010)


Encaustic wax, oil, toner, pages of Modern Movements on wood panel, mounted on sheetrock.

This series is dedicated to mid-century modern architects and their iconic houses in and around the Los Angles area.  The survey was inspired by an eclectic mix of modern chic elegance, innovation, and a fierce modernist spirit which shaped the unique cultural landscape of Los Angeles for years to come.

“Our economy dictates that machine products and machine techniques be the essence of our buildings. We cannot now regress to the bearing wall and to handcraft methods, to forms that repudiate machine building.” – Craig Elwood

“You can pass, in poetry, at a leap from Pope to Blake, for the sleepiest printer can set up the original remarks. But the conception of an architect must be worked out by other hands and other minds than his own. Consequently, the changes of style in architecture must keep pace with the technical progress of the crafts. And if, at the bidding of a romantic fashion, an abrupt change of style be attempted, then the technique of organization required by the new ideal must not be more exacting than those employed by the existent art. For neither technique nor organization can be called into being suddenly and at will.”               – Geoffrey Scott

Los Angeles Architectural Survey – Silverlake (2010) wax, enamel, epoxy resin, toner on pages, on stainless steel.

Fabricated by Will Kalbermatter, reknown for making exquisite WW2 airplane parts, and custom vintage race cars body parts. The piece was made to conform to the contour of the existing wall and bending stainless steel frame tubing as the frame to match the curve.  The artwork on stainless panels is held together using stainless steel airplane rivets and the stencil used to write the title was made from an authentic U.S. Army issued stensil making machine from WW2.

“You further called it an exhibition of ‘California Architects’. Now it has become one of ‘Neutra and others’. I am quite willing to give Neutra the crown for his ability as a publicity man, but I am not willing to sail under his flag as an architect.” — Schindler to Mrs. Frantl at MOMA in response to an upcoming exhibition, September 1935

“I consider myself the first and still one of the few architects who consciously abandoned stylistic sculptural architecture in order to develop space as a medium of art. … I believe that outside of Frank Lloyd Wright I am the only architect in U.S. who has attained a distinct local and personal form language.” — Schindler to Elisabeth Mock at MOMA, August 1943

Schindler Shelter (2009) 75×100 wax, toner on pages of LA Architectural Handbook, aluminum panel on drop cieling.

This cieling mural was the departure point of this Los Angeles architectural series in collaboration with Dr. Ernest Nagamatsu for the high tech patient cleaning room. This series was made possible by the generous support of Dr. Ernie and Elaine Nagamatsu.



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Untitled (Mystic Script) 2011   24×30 acrylic, ink on pages of Cosmic Clocks on canvas

The sum and total of man’s ignorance lie in the misconception of the power that surround his identity. He must realize that through his intellect is but a grain in the sands of knowledge. Yet hid in that grain is the essence of the whole.     –  Mystic Script

This is a new series which draws from my past as a tagger/graf artist which I am now embracing. Its part of an ongoing urban project series which I am going by the name “GETTO” (alter ego).

This work recalls the techniques used in Japanese calligraphy, and mid-century abstraction. I am interested in establishing a space where language breaks down into abstraction and something else is expressed altogether.

BB.a (Beneficial Bacteria) Soil Conditioner Experiment

Controlled BB.a Experiment by Mike Saijo


BB.a is a business art project which started when I was introduced to Mr. Hayashi, former vice president of Funai Electronics a year ago. As a side business he imported this beneficial bacateria soil amendment product called EB.a from Japan. According to Hayashi this product has been in development for over 50 years by biochemists to meet Japanese government ordinance for environment.  Its currently used on 90% of golf courses in Japan,  and claims to save up to 30% water/nutrience, approved by the department of Agriculture in Malaysia and Korea, used on large crops of fruits and vegetation. Designed to transform the structure of the soil for best rooting conditions, with better water permeability and retention to prevent root rot, and aeration for more oxygen.    

EB.a is currently packaged for industrial use and not very consumer friendly (label in Japanese language), so in the spirit of Capitalism I decided to create a new formulation and repackage it with a new name: BB.a, to represent beneficial bacteria, making it easier for consumers to use, combined with worm casting juice, and shape its own brand identity. The new label was hand painted using acrylic on canvas to give it that “homegrown” farmers market look with giant juicy oranges and bright red tomatoes. 

This is the Final Test. Yesterday I picked up 12 Mustard Green plants and poured 2 liters of BB.a in 6 of the 12 plants. We will shall see the results in 3-4 weeks.

Dream Defered

 Dream Defered (2011) 65×62 Mixed Media

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

By Langston Hughes

Outside my studio in the beautiful morning sun I began writing the poem by Langston Hughes on my artwork, and editor of Debacle Magazine began taking pictures for the upcoming “Isolation” issue. For a moment the thought of Jean Michel Basquiat came to mind and poetry he wrote on the walls, then a little humming bird flew down for close examination, and went away.