Chapman University Collection
The sublime metal canvases and sculptures of New York-based, American artist Miya Ando articulate themes of contradiction and juxtaposition of ideas. The foundation of Ando’s practice is the transformation of surfaces. A descendant of Bizen sword makers, she was raised among sword smiths and Buddhist priests in a temple in Okayama, Japan. Applying traditional techniques of her ancestry, she skillfully transforms sheets of burnished industrial steel, using heat and chemicals, into ephemeral abstractions suffused with subtle gradations of color. She says of her process, “I have a deep appreciation for the dynamic properties of metal and its ability to reflect light. Metal simultaneously conveys strength and permanence and yet in the same instant can appear delicate, fragile, luminous, soft, ethereal. The medium becomes both a contradiction and juxtaposition for expressing notions of evanescence, including ideas such as the transitory and ephemeral nature of all things, quietude and the underlying impermanence of everything.”
Miya Ando apprenticed at the master metal smith 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 the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2012. Her work has been exhibited extensively all over the world, including a recent show curated by Nat Trotman of the 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. Her large-scale installation piece Emptiness the Sky (Shou Sugi Ban) was featured in the 56th Venice Biennale.