Miya Ando is an American artist whose metal canvases and sculpture 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: “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.”
Trained as thermal engineer (having worked on several NASA projects), photographer Kim Keever fuses the images of his childhood fantasy with his knowledge of science and physics. His exploration into his unique process began by trying to physically recreate the imagery of his memories. By constructing intricate landscapes inside a water filled aquarium, he was able to create the mysterious atmosphere of the mind. Inspired by memories of his father mixing condensed milk and water, one memory helped to complete the other. As Keever continued to explore, his photography evolved from atmospheric landscapes, to bold abstract compositions, allowing the materials to create expressions. Bright pigments hang weightless, captured in digital form. Keever states, “the idea has become a machine that makes the art”.
Miya Ando received a bachelor degree in East Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and attended Yale University to study Buddhist iconography and imagery. 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 which is installed permanently at Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Her large-scale installation piece ‘Emptiness the Sky’ (Shou Sugi Ban) is featured in the 56th Venice Biennale, in the ‘Frontiers Reimagined’ Exhibition at the Museo Di Palazzo Grimani.
Keever’s work is included in numerous collections, including: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC.