Miya Ando, visual artist from New York, United States. Photo © Yiru Chen

1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.

I’m a visual artist who studies the perception of awe in nature, focusing on the recognition and presence of the sublime in  fleeting moments. I crystallize specific, transitory aspects of natural systems  in my paintings and sculpture  as a means to establish a non verbal dialogue with viewers. Often I create idealized portraits of the landscape that capture evanescent moments as they quickly pass, this is my ode to nature and an elegy to that which may disappear forever  in our fragile environment.

The work is not so much a record of my experiences but more about inviting the viewer to  heighten their awareness of our relationship to the  natural world. I spent my childhood in a Buddhist temple in Japan and also in a redwood forest in Northern California, both of which cultivated a heightened appreciation and attention to natural systems. 

© Miya Ando

Japanese culture is very unique in their regard for nature as sacred, recognizing the non-material enlightenment and harmony that comes from communing with the natural world. I draw inspiration from Buddhism as well as quantum physics, which stresses the impermanence and interdependence of all things.

2.What are your favorite museums in the world? Why?

I love the Benesse Art Sit and Chichu Art Museum in Naoshima, Japan. Other favorites are SFMOMA, MOCA, LACMA in California. We have so many incredible institutions here in New York, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Asia Society, The Noguchi Museum, The Guggenheim, Whitney, New Museum, MET. It is difficult to select a favorite!

3.How important are social networks in your business? And which platform do you prefer and why.

I’m not too focused on social networks, I find the format for viewing artworks challenging, in particular with experiential artworks. I primarily use Instagram and enjoy connecting with people through this app.

4.What are your future projects?

I’m developing an exhibition at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) of my cloud (Kumo) paintings on metal. In these works I am investigating the idea of Mono No Aware, an appreciation and solemn recognition of the impermanence of all things.

I am interested in slowing down time in our fast-paced lives to recognize the presence of the sublime in our surroundings. Most important for this forthcoming exhibition is creating opportunities for non-verbal, silent dialogues of interconnectivity between nature and viewers. 

5.To create greater engagement among museums, artists and professionals, do you have any advice for cultural projects such as #MuseumWeek?

I love outdoor sculpture and creating opportunities for public engagement.

Interview by Fabio Pariante, journalist – Twitter


Miya Ando on social networks: Instagram Website

Miya Ando (Los Angeles, 1973) is an American visual artist of half Japanese and half Russian-American origins. She studied at Berkeley University in California and at Yale University and is descended on her mother’s side from a family of famous Japanese samurai-era gunsmiths: she is the sixteenth generation of Bizen swordmaker Ando Yoshiro Masakatsu. Ando is most known for her landscape-inspired paintings and sculptural works that document transformations within systems of the natural world.

Her work is primarily concerned with the changing elements of nature and the relationship to our fragile environment. Her paintings present abstract representations of transitory natural phenomena as a portal for the viewer to reflect upon their own experiences. Her sculptures and drawings capture moments that allow the viewer to experience the sublime in nature. She often references historic literary texts and examines the idea that the fundamental nature of reality is that all constituent forms that make up the universe are temporary; a concept found in Buddhism as well as quantum physics.

Ando’s work has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions internationally at leading institutions including The Asia Society Museum (TX), The Noguchi Museum (NY),  Savannah College Of Art and Design Museum (GA); The Nassau County Museum (NY) and The American University Museum (Washington DC). Her work has also been included in extensive group exhibitions at institutions including The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (AK), The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; The Haus Der Kunst, Munich, Germany; The Bronx Museum, (NY) and The Queens Museum of Art,  (NY). Her work is included in the public collections of  LACMA (CA), The Nassau County Museum (NY), The Corning Museum of Glass (NY) and The Detroit Institute of Art Museum (MI), The Luft Museum (Germany), Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (AZ), The Santa Barbara Museum of Art (CA), The Museum of Art and History (CA), among other public institutions as well as in numerous private collections. Ando has been the recipient of several grants and awards including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant Award and commission for The Philip Johnson Glass House, New Canaan, CT. She exhibited her work in “Frontiers Reimagined” during the 56th Venice Biennale. Miya Ando lives and works in Long Island City, New York.