Michiko Saiki is a Japanese-born pianist and multimedia artist. As she was raised amongst a devoted ShintoBuddhist family, with the renowned shrine so close to her home, Michiko’s early perspective of life was largely influenced by traditional Japanese cultural values. Her upbringing within Tokyo’s fast paced culture, her Shinto-Buddhist family, and her early musical training as a pianist influenced her early artistic interests. Her goal as an artist is to create works that go beyond the limitations of traditional mediums and the conventional social norms she was immersed in.
Michiko moved to the United States in 2006 to pursue musical studies. This gave her a chance to both confront and reconnect with her Japanese identity. Michiko explored performance art to understand her role as a Japanese artist. Since this time, she has been able to see Japan with a distanced perspective.
Her major performances include Have You Seen That Girl? at a local cafe in Bowling Green Ohio, Grounds for Thought in 2012, Grow at Arts Extravaganza at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio in 2013, and self-portrait at New York University in New York City in 2013. Michiko’s breakthrough came through her realization of the potential of multimedia works. In her first short film a…i…u…e…o…, she successfully bridged the gap between music and visual art by using superimposition technique to layer multiple image of herself and layering her own voice samples. Continuing with her interest in Japanese culture, she addressed radiation issues in Japan as the main theme for the work. This film won the first prize in the Without Words Film Festival in France and had been accepted for screenings at multiple international film festivals, including flEXiff in Australia, Threshold Festival, Art Extravaganza, and Identity Project Film Festival in Ohio, KcEMA Happy Hour Event in Missouri, and xMV in New York City.
Michiko currently resides in Bowling Green, Ohio, where she is pursuing her doctorate in contemporary music at Bowling Green State University. Her other degrees include M. M. from Bowling Green State University and B.A. from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Michiko studied piano with Thomas Rosenkranz and Laura Melton (BGSU), Nicolas Hodges (Darmstadt Summer Festival), Ronald Chioldi (Northeastern State University), Timothy Ehlen (Brevard Summer Music Festival), and privately with Alice Rybak (University of Denver), and video art with Heather Elliott-Famularo (BGSU).Her artworks can be found at www.behance.net/michikosaiki