Miya Ando

United States 1973

Minimal Art, Abstract Art


Miya Ando
Miya Ando
United States
May 13, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

The forging of a Japanese sword is a subtle and careful process, an art that has developed over the centuries and has always been a means of respect. In the family of a New York-based contemporary artist Miya Ando, making swords has been an important part of the family identity, mythology and history. Being a descendant of Bizen sword makers both impacted and informed her path as an artist. Over the years, she has become widely known for her metal canvases and sculptures that combine reflectivity and light with such metals as aluminum and steel.

Miya Ando - Cerulean Leaf Mandala, 2015 (Left) / Forest Green Meditation Leaf Mandala, 2015 (Right) - english aluminum gallery
Miya Ando – Cerulean Leaf Mandala, 2015 (Left) / Forest Green Meditation Leaf Mandala, 2015 (Right)

Miya Ando’s Background

Born in California to a Russian-American father and Japanese mother, Miya Ando spent her childhood within two distinct cultures – sword smiths and Buddhist priests in a temple in Okayama, Japan, and in a redwood forest in Santa Cruz, California. Ando received a bachelor degree in East Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley in 1996 and attended Yale University to study Buddhist iconography and imagery. Realizing she wants to make – not analyze – art, Ando left a Master’s in East Asian Studies at Yale and moved to Japan for six months. There, Miya apprenticed at the master metalsmith Hattori Studio in Japan, followed by a residency at Northern California’s Public Art Academy in 2009.

Miya Ando - Komorebi (Light Flitering Through the Trees), 2016 (Left) / Ephemeral Blue White, 2013 (Right) contact aluminum cloud
Miya Ando – Komorebi (Light Flitering Through the Trees), 2016 (Left) / Ephemeral Blue White, 2013 (Right)

Abstract Metal Paintings

A centuries-old trade of the transformation of metal Miya Ando is pushing into the modern world using heat and chemicals to transform sheets of burnished industrial steel into ephemeral abstractions suffused with subtle gradations of color. Guided by strong family relationships, a deep connection to nature, and time spent living in a Buddhist temple, she produces pieces that articulate themes of contradiction and juxtaposition of ideas. The results of Miya practice are mirrored abstract metal paintings that dance with light in subtle ways.

Miya Ando - Winter Blue Reflection, 2014 (Left) / Emptiness the Sky Faint Pink, 2014 (Right) english cookies aluminum cloud
Miya Ando – Winter Blue Reflection, 2014 (Left) / Emptiness the Sky Faint Pink, 2014 (Right)

After 9/11

Miya Ando’s public commissions include projects in South Korea, New York, California, and most notably a commemorative sculpture in London called After 9/11, in which she utilized 30-foot tall pieces of steel recovered from the World Trade Center Buildings after the September 11 attacks. The sculpture meant to honor the 67 British citizens who died in the attacks, is installed permanently at Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. The piece was unveiled by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Miya Ando and London Mayor Boris Johnson at After 9 11 Memorial Sculpture unveiling, London, UK, 2015 press
Miya Ando and London Mayor Boris Johnson at After 9 11 Memorial Sculpture unveiling, London, UK, 2015

Ando at the 56th Venice Biennale

Miya Ando’s large-scale installation piece Emptiness the Sky (Shou Sugi Ban) was featured in the 56th Venice Biennale, in the Frontiers Reimagined exhibition at the Museo Di Palazzo Grimani. Emptiness the Sky or Shou Sugi Ban is a free-standing room clad on the outside walls with Shou Sugi Ban, a charred wood which is used in construction in Okayama, Japan where Miya spent time as a child. It is believed that Shou Sugi Ban charred wood prevents fires, as the charred wood is less flammable than regular timber. The inside of the Shou Sugi Ban installation is covered in wall to ceiling paintings on metal, creating an immersive environment. The 84×84-inch structure is inspired by traditional Japanese tea rooms – Chashitsu.

Miya Ando - Emptiness the Sky (Shou Sugi Ban) for Frontiers Reimagined Venice Biennale, 2015 grid press
Miya Ando – Emptiness the Sky (Shou Sugi Ban) for Frontiers Reimagined Venice Biennale, 2015

Evenings Series

Miya Ando’s art has been included in numerous shows in galleries and museums throughout Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, and Australia, among others. In one of her recent solo exhibitions Evenings at Madison Gallery in La Jolla, California, Miya presented her body of work inspired by the light. Exploring transitory nature of time and place, she focused on the passing of the day into the hush quietness of the evening. Capturing fleeting moments in time – a split second flash of light – she depicted the afternoon sky before finally falling quietly into the horizon.

“My interest is in the idea of impermanence; the works in the Evenings exhibition are inspired by the language of light as something which has a fleeting quality” – Miya Ando

Miya Ando - Evening Cartagena, 2014 (Left) / Evening Caramel, 2014 (Right)
Miya Ando – Evening Cartagena, 2014 (Left) / Evening Caramel, 2014 (Right)

Hyper-Minimalist Landscapes

The youthful artist has been the recipient of many awards including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2012, the Thanatopolis Special Artist Award and Public Outdoor Commission Winner and Puffin Foundation Grant winner. Known for her subtle works on aluminum and steel created using heat, sandpaper, grinders, and acid, Ando continues to alter the material leaving behind stunning hyper-minimalist landscapes of graduated color and a perceived duality of hard/cold and soft/warm.

Miya Ando lives and works in New York.

Featured image: Miya Ando – portrait, photo credits Luxury Volt
All images copyright © Miya Ando

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016Art Central Hong KongSundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2016AtmosphereNancy Toomey Gallery, San FranciscoSolo
2016Art Paris, Art FairSundaram Tagore Gallery, ParisGroup
2016UnknownDe Saisset Museum, Santa Clara UniversityGroup
2016UnknownSundaram Tagore Gallery, New YorkGroup
2015Sky/Emptiness (Sora/Ku)Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong KongSolo
2015Sky/Emptiness (Sora/Ku)Sundaram Tagore Gallery, SingaporeSolo
2015Winter Group ShowSundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2015 Miya Ando & Karen Gunderson212 Gallery, Aspen, ColoradoGroup
2015Summer Group ShowWinston Wachter, SeattleGroup
2015Tsuru No Ongaeshi, Video InstallationLittle Piece, Custom House, IrelandGroup
2015Do You See What I seeNova Gallery, Manila, PhilippinesGroup
2015EveningsMadison Galleries, La Jolla, CaliforniaSolo
2015UnknownSaisset Museum, Santa Clara UniversityGroup
2015Samurai In Contemporary CultureWorcester Art MuseumGroup
201556th Venice Biennale, Frontiers ReimaginedMuseuo Di Palazzo GrimaniGroup
2015Scope 2015 Tribeca Grand HotelGroup
2014Outside Looking InLesley Kehoe Galleries, Melbourne, AustraliaSolo
2014Fleeting LightNarthex Gallery Saint Peter’s Church, New YorkSolo
2014Kisetsu (Seasons)Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New YorkSolo
2014AuroraMead Carney Fine Art, LondonSolo
2014Light MetalSundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong Solo
2014Cloud-Like PatternLora Schlesinger, Los AngelesSolo
2014UnknownLora Schelsinger Gallery, Los Angeles, CaliforniaGroup
2014Night LightFresh Windows Gallery, Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2014Summer Group ShowSundaram Tagore Gallery, New YorkGroup
2014Current ProjectsSmith Andersen Editions, Palo AltoGroup
2014UnknownLora Schlesinger Gallery, Santa MonicaGroup
2014Summer Group ShowSundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2014Shock of the NewMead Carney Gallery, Monte NegroGroup
2014Raising the Temperature: Art works in environmental reactionsQueens Museum of ArtGroup
2013Tides & The Phases of the MoonK Imperial Gallery, San FranciscoSolo
2013Mujo (Impermanence)Sundaram Tagore Gallery, NYC Solo
2013Miya AndoAsbaek Gallery & Bang Olufsen, CopenhagenSolo
2013Miya AndoDixten Les Docks, ParisSolo
2013Wutang ExhibitionWallplay NYCGroup
2013Unseen, Cult ExhibitionsSan FranciscoGroup
2013All Of The AboveChurch of St Paul The Apostle, New YorkGroup
2013Surface TensionSundaram Tagore Gallery, New YorkGroup
2013Summer Group ShowLora Schlesinger Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2013AIM BiennialBronx Museum & Wave Hill, New York, NYGroup
2013Archives of the Ephemeral: ten interventions in NatureEscuela de Bellas Artes de Ponce, Puerto RicoGroup
20138 Stories, 8 WomenSundaram Tagore Gallery Hong KongGroup
2013A Strong Hand That Nonetheless Gets You NowhereKunsthalle Galapagos, New YorkGroup
2013Limuw: An Ode To The SeaSanta Barbara Contemporary Arts ForumGroup
2013Thinking Like The UniverseK Imperial Gallery, San Francisco & Hatch Gallery, OaklandGroup
2012MeditationsMadison Galleries, La Jolla, CaliforniaSolo
2012TimekeeperThe Hermitage, St Petersburg & IMAL BrusselsGroup
2012Archives of the Ephemeral: Ten Artistic Interventions in NatureSagrado Corazon University, Puerto RicoGroup
2012Installation 1Sundaram Tagore Gallery, NYCGroup
2012New York Armory FairGalerie Sho Contemporary Art, New YorkGroup
2012Art Meets New YorkGalerie Sho, TokyoGroup
2012Stories To Wake Up WithThe Market Studios Dublin, IrelandGroup
2012Kunstfilmtag, Language Is The House We Live InAuditorium of the Artists Association Malkasten, DusseldorfnGroup
2011The Color of LightLora Schlesinger Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2011ElementsGalerie Sho Contemporary Art, Tokyo  nSolo
2011ReflectionsShibuya Seibu Artspace, TokyoSolo
2011Chado: The Way of TeaArtxchange Gallery, SeattleSolo
2011PerspectivesSundaram Tagore Gallery, New YorkGroup
2011Wa: The Art of JapanGensler Art Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
2011The Cutting LightGalerie Vanessa Quang, Paris FranceGroup
2011Wide OpenBWAC, Red Hook, NYGroup
2011MiscArt Finance Partners, New York, NYGroup
2010ShinobuCastallane Gallery, Brooklyn, NYSolo
2010MeditationsArt Ecology Gallery, Louisville, KYSolo
2010Small Meditative WorksLora Schlesinger Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
2010The Happy TreeMonster Children & Element, Sydney, AustraliaGroup
2010Diversity in DialogueMuriel Guepin Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2010The Art of LightDam, Stuhltrager Gallery, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2009Luminous TranscendentBryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CASolo
2009Next Post: 18 Solo ProjectsRupert Ravens Contemporary, Newark, NJSolo
2009Hypothetical LandscapesJanet Kurnatowski, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2009W HotelWhite Gallery, Times Square, NYGroup
2008Vanishing Point of DeparturesAnne Reed Gallery, Sun Valley, IDSolo
2008Revelation and ReflectionBandini Art Gallery, Culver City, CASolo
2008Introspective EnvironmentsNewhouse Center for Contemporary Art Museum, Staten IslandSolo
2008Out of the BlueAttleboro Arts Museum, Attleboro, MAGroup
2008Places and Manners of WorshipMuseum of Byzantine Culture, GreeceGroup
2008Theme of Compassion, exhibit collaboration w/gathering feat. His Holiness the Dalai Lama of TibetArtXchange Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
2008Lack of DesireBrooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2007Miya AndoEdith Caldwell Gallery, Sausalito, CA Solo
2007Miya AndoGalerie Sho, Tokyo, JapanSolo
2007DuopolisChandra Cerrito Contemporary, Oakland, CAGroup
2007Distilled Moments111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2007New Wave ContemporaryGalerie Sho, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2007Homo Bellicus, A Geneology of WarBerlin, GermanyGroup
2007Director’s SelectionEdith Caldwell Gallery, Sausalito, CAGroup