“I’ve always loved the Japanese word for galaxy and find it poetic to think of the galaxy as a river of stars in the sky” – Miya Ando
Lora Schlesinger Gallery is pleased to present a new body of work by New York based artist Miya Ando. The exhibition titled 銀河 Ginga ("The Silver River" / "Galaxy") and Mandala is an exploration of our connection to nature and the interconnectivity of all things. It will include two bodies of work that were inspired by the Japanese word for galaxy, which translates into ‘The Silver River in the Sky’ as well as Ando’s Bodhi Leaf Mandalas. The show opens with an artist’s reception on Saturday, September 10th from 5-7 pm.
銀河Ginga ("The Silver River" / "Galaxy") and Mandala is a continued investigation into the themes of perception and one’s relationship to nature and time. In Buddhism, a mandala represents the universe and is traditionally used in meditation. The mandalas in the exhibition are created using Bodhi (Ficus Religiosa) skeleton leaves from the Bodhi tree, the species of tree under which The Buddha gained enlightenment. The leaves are dyed, arranged, and sewn together to compose diaphanous, elegant, and meditative works.
Miya Ando has also created a new series of luminous paintings on metal for the exhibition. A descendant of Bizen sword makers, she combines traditional techniques with modern industrial technology, skillfully transforming metal panels into ethereal abstract paintings infused with color. The reflective material produces experiential and mutable surfaces that shift with light.
The foundation of her practice is the transformation of surfaces. Ando produces light-reflecting gradients on her metal paintings by applying heat, sandpaper, grinders, acid, and patinas, irrevocably altering the material’s chemical properties. By an almost meditative daily repetition of these techniques, she is able to subtract, reduce, and distill her concept until it reaches its simplest form. For Ando, a practicing Buddhist, the paradoxical pairing of metal with spiritual subject matter is intentional.
Miya Ando received a bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and attended Yale University to study Buddhist iconography and imagery. Ando’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the world, including a recent show curated by Nat Trotman of the Guggenheim Museum. Her large-scale installation piece Emptiness The Sky (Shou Sugi Ban) was featured in the Frontiers Reimagined exhibition in the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. She has produced numerous public commissions, most notably a memorial sculpture in which she utilized a 30-foot tall piece of steel which had fallen from the World Trade Center buildings. The sculpture is permanently displayed in front of Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. A Critic’s Pick in Artforum magazine in 2015, Ando is also recipient of numerous awards including the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant.