Jon Sasaki


With a BFA from Mount Allison University Jon Sasaki is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist, whose practice frequently borrows Conceptual Art strategies, redeploying them in work with an emotionally resonant core. While his projects often employ both humour and pathos, they do so in the service of addressing the fraught and fragile nature of human interactions. Sasaki’s  work can at times be mildly and intentionally antagonistic towards audiences and participants; he aims to test the limits of sociability, audience generosity, sustainability of actions, conviviality, hope, enthusiasm. Projects invariably risk and even court failure. For Sasaki tragedy is an inevitable by-product of a practice that is aspirational at its core.

Currently represented by Jessica Bradley Gallery in Toronto. Sasaki’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions, including the Ottawa Art Gallery, (Ottawa, ON); the Art Gallery of Ontario, (Toronto, ON) Recent group exhibitions include Platform Art Spaces (Melbourne
Australia); Nihonbashi Institute of Contemporary Art, (Tokyo, Japan);Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto, ON). In late 2014 Sasaki completed a public art commission for Sheridan College, (Oakville, ON).

'I have a longstanding interest in the Romantic Movement, both its European roots and the form it took when it trickled down to colonial Canada and informed some early thinking around Canadian Art. I am interested in the Romantic ideal of the solitary individual, the exceptional singular. Most proponents of Romanticism understood that there are some heights that can be climbed only by a individual and not a group. Indeed Glenfiddich has, for over a century made a compelling argument for the appeal of the singular. The Romantic movement in Scotland dovetailed with amazing technological advancements, worldchanging Scottish innovations that were often made by solitary inventors in DIY workshops. In 1981 Popular Mechanics Magazine featured plans to build a one-seat working ultralight aircraft using commonly-available hardware store materials and simple hand tools; the sort of tools that would probably be found in a cooperage. The plane was intended to be built and flown by one person, which I see as a beautiful sort of alchemy; like Glenfiddich, one could take a few humble ingredients and make something exceptional, unexpected, transcendent. I would love to explore the possibility of building a working airplane from materials found in and around Dufftown.'

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