Drawing on her multicultural upbringing—she is half Japanese, half Russian-American, and was raised both in a Buddhist temple in Japan and in Northern California—Miya Ando combines metals, reflectivity, and light to create subtly beautiful metal canvases and sculpture. “Ultimately I am interested in the study of subtraction to the point of purity, simplicity and refinement,” she says of the quiet, abstract environments she creates. Burnishing and chemical treatment of the metal results in varied textures and degrees of sheen in her richly colored monochromatic metal sheets, which simultaneously evoke Mark Rothko paintings and landscapes. Striving to find a universal vocabulary, Ando says she relies on light and “a lot of vernacular that is inspired by nature.” Her interest in metal stems in part from a family tradition of swordsmithing. Notably, in 2011 she incorporated 30-foot pieces of steel that had fallen from the World Trade Center into two 9/11 memorial sculptures.