SCAD Museum of Art presents an exhibition by Miya Ando that profiles her ongoing, finely calibrated exploration of images and materials and their cultural significance. "Temporal" brings together three significant works and series in the artist’s oeuvre, made of wood, steel and silk chiffon. The nature of these materials provides important conceptual markers and underscores the artist’s interest in the contrasts between the steadfast and the ephemeral, the secular and spiritual.
The recent series, "Redwood (Spirit)," pictures trees on large suspended silk chiffon panels spread throughout the exhibition space, dictating a meandering path through the exhibition. Redwoods are the tallest growing trees, and some of the world’s oldest living entities. Once spread across the globe, these ancient giants are now found in confined geographic areas. In the exhibition, the diaphanous panels appear as ghostly expressions of these redwood trees, a barely there interpretation as if it were a memory.
"Emptiness the Sky," an installation created in 2015, is an immersive cube measuring 7 feet in all directions and clad in blackened wood using the Japanese technique of Shou Sugi Ban, the act of scorching building materials until they harden to form a protective layer against the elements. The interior of the space consists of highly reflective, polished metal paintings, a levity that contrasts with the heavy exterior. The artwork illustrates Ando’s interest in creating seamless abstract surfaces that prompt contemplation.
A descendant of Bizen province sword makers, Ando spent her childhood among Buddhist priests in a temple in Okayama, Japan, and later, in California. She apprenticed with master metalsmiths at Hattori Studio in Japan, followed by a residency at the Northern California Public Art Academy. She earned a B.A. in East Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and studied Buddhist iconography and imagery at Yale University. Her work has been shown at the De Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University, California, in an exhibition curated by Nat Trotman of the Guggenheim Museum, and in an exhibition at the Queens Museum, New York, among others.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website