A descendant of Bizen sword makers, Miya Ando spent her childhood among Buddhist priests in a temple in Okayama, Japan, and later, in California. Ando combines the traditional techniques of her ancestry with modern industrial technology, skillfully transforming sheets of metal into ephemeral, abstract paintings suffused with color.
Transformation—both in the physical and the metaphysical sense—is the unifying element of the work in this exhibition. To produce the light-reflecting gradients on her metal paintings, Ando applies heat, sandpaper, grinders and acid to the metal canvases, irrevocably altering the material’s chemical properties. It is by an almost meditative daily repetition of these techniques that Ando is able to subtract, reduce and distill her concept until it reaches its simplest form. The resulting works explore the duality of metal and its ability to convey strength and permanence, yet in the same instance, capture the fleetingness of light and the transitory nature of all things.
For this exhibition, Ando is introducing two new bodies of work that build on the concept of transformation. The first is the Phenomenon series, characterized by an understated iridescence, where the surface of the metal painting appears to change color depending on light and movement. For the viewer, examining these works is not a passive experience, but rather an interactive one, shaped by environmental conditions—the subtle shift of light throughout the day and the viewer’s movement as he or she navigates the space transform the appearance of the work and as a result, the encounter itself.