[Originally posted February 17th, 2015]
February 16, 2015
In art as in interior decoration, the exploration of natural light, its ever changing intersections and brilliant spectrum as the blazen sun announces its arrival each morning before making a slow trek across the afternoon sky before finally falling quietly into the horizon, continues to remain the subject of many a curious artist, each making ever more glorious attempts to capture fleeting moments in time – a split second flash of light.
Miya Ando, a youthful New York artist furthers the transitions of light through a single day with her current exhibit “Evenings“, showcasing a relationship between both the organic, natural subjects she captures and the metal slabs that are her canvases. A descendant of Bizen sword makers, Ando re imagines the traditional paint brush, using applied heat, sandpaper, acids, and patinas, forever altering stainless steel raw material leaving behind hyper-minimalist landscapes of graduated color and a perceived duality of hard/cold and soft/warm.
It isn’t important the viewer’s literal interpretation of each landscape and seascape. And it isn’t the duality and distinct tension that coexists between the cold, hard steel backdrop and the soft, warm qualities of her works’ subjects. Instead, the foundation of Evenings is that Ando’s ethereal displays of light generate within the viewer an awareness of the present before it becomes the past, letting their luster infuse with the viewer’s current psychological state and emotional well-being before offering a quiet space for reflectance and contemplation.
Ever the sculptor, Ando pushes her light and philosophy inspired exhibit further, stepping away from her traditional worked-metal and chemically laden methods, isolating puffy cloud formations within a crystal clear glass moment in time and working silver leaf into crisp linen and pigment for an at once texturally interesting and visually stimulating play on light. More so, Japanese Bodhi leaves, hand-dyed and delicately strung from translucent fibers, aren’t simply a wispy representation of Miya’s heritage, her having been raised among Buddhist priests in an Okayama temple. Their twilight hues and pierced skeletons are also a mindful study in light’s play on the natural environment, at once capturing and reflecting rays of illumination in, around, and through the simple leaf forms.
In a day when modern quick-shot photography paired with the all-encompassing social and editing programs available within arms reach via today’s smart phones have removed people from the simple fleeting experience that is mother nature’s changing light scape, Miya Ando reconnects humanity with those moments that might otherwise escape unnoticed.