In my work, I create quiet, abstract, meditative environments with metal. Ultimately I am interested in the study of subtraction to the point of purity, simplicity and refinement.
I am Japanese and Russian, a descendant of Bizen swordmaker Ando Yoshiro Masakatsu and was raised among sword smiths-turned Buddhist priests in a Buddhist temple in Okayama, Japan. My spiritual, familial, and academic experiences deeply inform every aspect of my work.
My studio practice is based on a commitment to working with metals, focusing to create works in steel. My reasons for working with steel are multifold: since the first time I started to work with the medium, I felt a deep appreciation for the dynamic properties of the material. It simultaneously conveys strength and permanence and yet in the same instant appears delicate, fragile, luminous, soft, ethereal. I view the steel as a platform and foundation, which supports the aesthetics of the abstract concepts I have been investigating. 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. I have created my own technique by layering metal finishing methods including working with fire, heat, acids, patinas, pigments and automotive lacquer to transform the surface of the metal I work with.
Recently my work has combined 2D and 3D pieces into installations of transformative minimal spaces and environments. These contemplative, luminous voids are at once empty and serene, while also alive, filled with potential and possibility. In these new installations, I invite the viewer into a meditative space, and it is my hope that these spaces inspire introspection, reflection and solace. I am currently working on the 10 year memorial sculpture for 9/11, created from WTC steel to be installed in London. I have completed large-scale public and private commissions for nondenominational meditative spaces, having completed site-specific works for nondenominational chapels in Brooklyn, San Francisco, Louisville, New York and a nonsectarian Buddhist meditation space in Los Angeles. My intention is to put forth quiet and transcendent environments which come from a place of sincerity and compassion.
Miya Ando, New York 2010