A descendant of Bizen sword makers, Ando was raised among sword smiths and Buddhist priests in a temple in Okayama, Japan. Combining traditional techniques of her ancestry with modern industrial technology, Ando skillfully transforms sheets of burnished steel and anodized aluminum into ephemeral, abstract paintings suffused with subtle gradations of color. She produces light-reflecting gradients on the metal by applying heat, sandpaper, grinders, acid and patinas, irrevocably altering the material’s chemical properties.
Miya Ando received a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and attended Yale University to study Buddhist iconography and imagery. She 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 in 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 to mark the ten-year anniversary of 9/11. She lives and works in New York.