by Nathalie Azoulai
Miya Ando's upbringing sounds ripped from a movie–with a Japanese mother and Russian father, she was raised in a Buddhist temple in Japan, then later the redwood forests of Santa Cruz, California. Her mother’s family are descendents of Bizen sword makers, an evident influence in her body of “metal paintings” she has developed over the years. Her work possesses a sophisticated calm that meshes influence from her family history with her belief that serenity comes from within, as she puts it. "I actually find New York City to be a calm place, she says, it is like any place–it has a system. My thinking has always been that calmness and serenity come from the inside and have zero to do with any exterior stimulus or physical location. I used to live in a Buddhist temple in Japan. I felt sad being away from it and several years ago someone I respect told me that “The temple is here” and pointed to my solar plexus. I believe this. Calm is a state of mind that is controlled by your mind, not by outside things." With a highly personal sculptural work headed for the 56th Venice Biennale, a partnership with Calvin Klein, and a recent lunch with Vice President Biden, Ando is about to become one of the great contemporary and sharp eyes of America.