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Peruvian Shamanism and Buddhism in Art

By Sam Skopp

“Boundaries of the Soul” is showcasing the works of Mike Saijo. The impetus for the exhibit began with a trip Saijo took to Peru, during which he met with members of the Shipibo Tribe.

“The works in this exhibit explore the relationship between science, nature, spirit, mathematics, mythology, memory, healing, symmetry and balance. Many of these ideas were conceived during my journey and while working with the sacred plants,” reads a statement by the artist.

Many of Saijo’s works, including all of those on display in this exhibit, are printed on pages from a book through a process he called “open text,” so that the work is assembled from parts xeroxed onto individual book pages.

One series of works, titled “Boundaries of the Soul,” features nine square works exhibited in a square.

“They’re sort of shamanistic, indigenous patterns,” said bG Gallery’s Head of Collection Consultation Mark Mcalinden.

Each individual work includes a unique pattern, and a frame containing the leaves of a plant used in making ayahuasca, a psychoactive ritualistic drink used in shamanic rituals in Peru. Each work is printed on pages from Jung’s Boundaries of the Soul.

Other works include “DNA,” printed on pages from a 1859 book on nature called Nature Study and Life, onto which are printed double helix patterns and the signature of Rosalind Franklin, a chemist integral to our understanding of DNA; a painting of a traditional depiction of Buddha reflected almost identically across a corner of the gallery printed on the page of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha; and others.

“We’ve shown him a number of times,” said Mcalinden, who explained that Saijo’s worked with the gallery in the past. “This is his first solo show.”

For more information on this and upcoming exhibits at the bG Gallery, visit santamonica.bgartdealings.com.

Peruvian Shamanism and Buddhism in Art
One series of works inspired by shamanistic patterns alongside a painting of Buddha almost identically reflected across the corner of the gallery.
Peruvian Shamanism and Buddhism in Art
Photos: Sam Skopp

Peruvian Shamanism and Buddhism in Art Peruvian Shamanism and Buddhism in Art

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