[Originally posted November 12th, 2015]
Final week of The 56th Venice Biennale. Miya Ando’s immersive sculpture, ‘Emptiness The Sky’ (Shou Sugi Ban) will be on view through November 22, 2015 in the ‘Frontiers Reimagined’ exhibition at The Museo Palazzo Grimani.
Miya Ando’s “Emptiness The Sky” (Shou Sugi Ban) is a free-standing room clad on the outside walls with Shou Sugi Ban, a charred wood which is used in construction in Okayama, Japan where the artist spent time as a child. The houses in her neighborhood, including the Buddhist temple where she lived was clad in Shou Sugi Ban wood. It is believed that Shou Sugi Ban charred wood prevents fires, as the charred wood is less flammable than regular timber. The artist also lived amongst redwood trees in Santa Cruz, California for a portion of her childhood and played in a tree-house that was inside of a 300 foot tall Redwood Tree which had been struck by lightening and was charred in a very similar manner as the Shou Sugi Ban. The inside of the Shou Sugi Ban installation is covered in wall to ceiling paintings on metal, creating an immersive environment. The 84x 84x 84 inch structure is inspired by traditional Japanese tea rooms (Chashitsu) and is a space informed by memory and quietude. — at La Biennale di Venezia.
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