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.
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 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.
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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