Post-Minimalist Art by Miya Ando


Miya Ando is an American post-minimalist artist. She has done most of her works in countries besides the United States. Ando is of half-Japanese and half-Russian heritage and is a descendent of Bizen sword maker Ando Yoshiro Masakatsu. She was raised by sword smiths-turned Buddhist priests in a Buddhist temple in Okayama, Japan and in the redwoods of Santa Cruz, California. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in East Asian Studies, Ando attended Yale University to study Buddhist iconography and imagery before apprenticing at the Hattori Studio in Japan.


Ando’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions in several U.S. states including New York and California. Ando has also exhibited in France, Australia, England, Germany, and Tokyo, Japan. Ando’s work can be found at Aldrich Contemporary, the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Byzantine Museum in Greece, and in Chapman University’s private collection.[citation needed]
In 2009, Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society commissioned Ando’s piece, “8-Fold Path,” which consists of a grid of four steel square canvases measuring 4 feet each. The work was featured in a July 2009 article for Shambhala Sun for its “meditative” nature and “spiritual” influence. Also in 2009, Ando created “Fiat Lux” (“Let There Be Light”), a grid of 144 individual 5″ x 5″ steel canvasses for the meditation room in Brooklyn’s St. John’s Bread and Life Chapel. Ando was next commissioned by president Jay Davidson of The Healing Place Non Denominational Chapel to produce an installation for its women’s facility. Ando’s forty-foot, phosphorescent-coated steel piece, “Shelter[Meditation 1-2],” collects sunlight during the day and radiates blue at night. Ando’s latest installation commemorates the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York City’s Twin Towers. Commissioned by the 9/11 London Project Foundation as a permanent addition to Potters Fields Park in London, England, Ando’s sculpture stands eight meters tall and is crafted from polished World Trade Center steel. Ando has also completed public commissions for Safdi Plaza Realty, the Thanatopolis Exhibition, San Francisco General Hospital, and CalFire. In 2011, Ando worked on commissions for the Haein Art Project in Korea and the Fist Art Foundation in Puerto Rico.


Ando became an advocate and public ambassador for Element Skateboards’ 2010 International print and media campaign[citation needed] and won the Thanatopolis Special Artist Award and Public Outdoor Commission in 2010. Ando also received grants from the Puffin Foundation and Gilbert Slomowitz Foundation in 2010 and 2011.[citation needed]
Ando donated 100% of sales from her limited edition 2009 series to the Indigo Youth Movement, a non-profit organization that provides art supplies, books, and school supplies to children of the Isithumba village in South Africa. Ando actively participates in a wide variety of philanthropic collaborations to benefit causes ranging from environmental preservation to humanitarian aid.


Miya Ando currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Ando’s two- and three-dimensional works reference American minimalism and Zen Reductivism in its exploration of reflectivity and luminosity. According to Rural Intelligence, Ando’s “works on steel canvas are post-minimalism at its very best.”




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Ophiuchus: The Serpent Bearer (Playing With Numbers)

Whether it is because I have OCD or because I was raised Catholic and am fascinated with numbers, take for example the number 13 which is the number of letters I have in my name: FRANK CUNHA III (without the spaces); Some say that the concept of Friday 13 being an unlucky day is linked with events that occurred in the Christian Bible, and they interpret that these events occurred on a Friday. Examples include the great flood during the time of Noah, the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel, the day Eve tempted Adam with the apple, and the day Jesus Christ died.   But I digress, the point of this post is to memorialize my ability to finally record (albeit partially) the shadow of Ophiuchus cast onto the concrete pad at a popular sculpture located at Montclair State University.  I first heard about the sculpture from a studio professor at NJIT (Don Wall, friend to John Hedjuk).  I believe Don Wall was trying to stress the importance of context, spatial relations, and the memorialization of event in the design of Architecture.  I was finally able to capture the shadow after more than 10-years (I simply kept missing it as life passed by).  But here it is…..finally! 
(Click Image to See Larger Version)

Ophiuchus: The Serpent Bearer” sculpture by former professor Mac Adams is located adjacent to Finley Hall and Sprague Library. It is a fusion of art and science. “Technically, the shadow sculpture is made of steel wedges, bars and disks that seemingly mean nothing sensible,” Rodriguez explained. “However, the breathtaking image emerges when the summer sun casts the shadow of the work from noon to approximately 1:15 p.m. between May and July of each year.  (See other sculptures located at MSU.)

Because of the partial overlap of the constellation Ophiuchus and the Sun’s path upon which zodiacal longitude is based, Ophiuchus is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the ’13th sign of the Zodiac’. This is an inappropriate reference since the zodiac is a division of the ecliptic into twelve equal parts, initially originated for calendrical purposes. This makes the notion of a ’13th sign’ a mathematical impossibility. It is only correct to refer to Ophiuchus as one of the constellations which cross the zodiac; which does not constitute a zodiacal sign, of which all historical records acknowledge only twelve.