Emptiness the Sky (Shou-Sugi-Ban), 2015, shou-sugi-ban facade, wood sub-structure, dyed aluminum panels, 7-foot/2.1-meter cube
The metal canvases and installations of Miya Ando articulate themes of contradiction and juxtaposition. The foundation of her practice is the transformation of surfaces. A descendant of Bizen swordsmiths, she was raised among Buddhist priests in a temple in Okayama, Japan, and later, in California. Applying traditional techniques of her ancestry, she transforms sheets of aluminum and industrial steel, using heat and chemicals, into ephemeral abstractions suffused with subtle gradations of color.
Recently, Ando has begun working with shou-sugi-ban, a charred wood often used as an exterior building material in Okayama. The immersive installation she created for this exhibition is clad in this material. The angular structure offers viewers a space for contemplation and the experience of stepping inside one of her mesmerizing metal paintings.
Miya Ando received a Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and attended Yale University to study Buddhist iconography and imagery. She apprenticed with master metalsmith Hattori Studio in Japan, followed by a residency at Northern California’s Public Art Academy in 2009. Ando is the recipient of many awards, including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2012.
Her work has been exhibited all over the world, including a show curated by Nat Trotman of the Soloman R. Guggenheim Museum. Miya Ando has produced numerous public commissions, most notably a thirty-foot-tall commemorative sculpture in London built from World Trade Center steel to mark the ten-year anniversary of 9/11.
Born in Los Angeles, 1973 | Lives and works in New York