Miya Ando is an American artist known for her metal paintings that encapsulate both ephemerality and permanence. A descendant of Bizen sword makers, Miya Ando spent her childhood among Buddhist priests in a temple in Okayama, Japan, and later, in California. She combines the traditional techniques of her ancestry with modern industrial technology, skillfully transforming sheets of metal into ephemeral, abstract paintings suffused with color. Working across two and three dimensions, Ando’s oeuvre contains abstract painting and sculpture, including large-scale public art pieces that reflect the transitory essence of life.
A practicing Buddhist, Ando imbues her work with principles of her practice, with a focus on the interconnectedness of the viewer and the artwork, and among viewers themselves. The pieces exist as conduits for human experience, bringing people together to perceive each in their own way. Ando’s practice is built on the experiential qualities of her output. Viewers are meant to move around each of her works, interacting with them from different vantage points as a way to change their perceptions with respect to light, distance and time. Drawing from these philosophical underpinnings, Ando pays acute attention to how light is expressed in space and seamlessly transfers her observations to her art.
Ando constantly refines her work to remove any extraneous elements until the core of the piece remains. This distillation marks her artworks as Post Minimalist, though she does not merely recreate the tenets of this movement through her paintings, objects and installations, but acts from the same sources of inspiration and creativity.
Blending the natural with the industrial, Ando utilizes the enduring materiality of metal with evanescent scenes of the environment. Her self-developed process of painting into the surface of the aluminum creates tranquil, mutable scenes of the atmosphere. Ando applies heat, sandpaper, grinders, acid and patinas to the metal canvases, irrevocably altering the material’s chemical properties. Her glass sculptures capture cloud formations through infinitesimal fractures within. Beauty can always be found in these fleeting, temporary moments of existence.
Miya Ando has 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 the master metalsmith Hattori Studio in Japan, followed by a residency at Northern California’s Public Art Academy.
Ando’s work has been shown worldwide, including recent solo shows at the Hammond Museum, North Salem, New York, and the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art, Georgia. Her work has also been exhibited at The Noguchi Museum, New York; Katzen Arts Center, American University Museum, Washington D. C.; the de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University, California, in a show curated by Nat Trotman of the Guggenheim Museum; and in an exhibition at the Queens Museum, New York.
Ando has also produced numerous public commissions, most notably a thirty-foot-tall sculpture in London built from World Trade Center steel to mark the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, for which she was nominated for a DARC Award in Best Light Art Installation. Ando is the recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, 2012.
Born in Los Angeles, 1973 | Lives and works in New York