Miya Ando’s immersive installation in ‘Frontiers Reimagined Exhibition’, The 56th Venice Biennale

[Originally posted March 17th, 2015]

“Frontiers Reimagined” Exhibition, 56th Venice Biennale: Miya Ando’s “Shou Sugi Ban”  (Charred Wood) 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 artistalso 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 84 84x 84 inch structure is inspired by traditional Japanese tea rooms (Chashitsu) and is a space informed by memory and quietude. Charred Wood, Pigment, Urethane, Aluminum. 2015 Miya Ando