RocketNews24: Miya Ando, descendant of Japanese swordsmiths, creates mind-blowing art with steel

[Originally posted February 17th, 2015]

If you’re looking for a new kimono for spring, look no more! Your search for the coolest (and shiniest) kimonos on the planet is now complete. Though you may have a hard time wearing it for more than a few minutes–these kimono are made of nothing but metal!

Of all the artists we’ve covered here, Miya Ando has perhaps one of the most unique backgrounds. An American-based artist born of Russian and Japanese parents, the artist has perfected the art of blending opposites and creating marvelous juxtapositions.

A descendent of Japanese swordmakers-turned-monks, she grew up hearing stories of about her family’s swordsmithing, which has seemingly inspired her to take metalworking to dazzling heights of artistry. As she explains, “My work is an exploration into the duality of metal and its ability to convey strength and permanence, yet in the same instance absorb shifting color and capture the fleetingness of light. It reminds us of the transitory nature of all things in life.”

The main thrust of her work is changing the colors of the surface of the metals she works with, developing multitudes of gorgeous hues. Using both steel and anodized aluminum, her works range from simple color schemes to variations of landscapes.

To really get an idea of the variety of her work, be sure to check out this video walkthrough of her 2014 solo exhibition in New York City called “Kisetsu” (“Seasons”).

For the kimonos, Ando crafted each piece from anodized aluminum by hand, staining them individually. That sounds like a lot of work, but the results are stunning!

But, of course, Ando has done a lot more than just metal kimono. Check out the metal geta sandles! We’re not sure anyone but a fighting game character could wear them for very long, but how awesome would that be?!

And then there’s the clear piece, which actually seems to be made of glass and simulates a downpour. We have no idea how something like this is made, but we could stare at it for hours.

Since we’re betting you want to know more about Ando, here’s a video introduction of the artist from the David Lynch Foundation, which also features a few clips of her hard at work.