Vespertine Clouds (Yūgumo), a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Miya Ando13 Jan 2024 (Sat) - 02 Mar 2024 (Sat)
Date and Time
Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri : 11:00 - 18:30
Sat : 11:00 - 19:00
Location / Links
We are pleased to present new paintings by New York-based artist Miya Ando (b. 1973, Los Angeles), centering on cloud formations captured in the evening hours. This is Ando’s first solo exhibition in Singapore since 2019.
Ando’s cloud works have been showcased in a number of museum exhibitions, including at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; The Noguchi Museum, New York; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where her 2016 painting Kumo (Cloud) 6 was acquired for the museum’s permanent collection. Most recently, her work was on view in the exhibition Earth and Sky at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona.
The artist’s cloud series is rooted in the Japanese concept mono no aware, which loosely translates as “an acute awareness of the transience of things,” a sentiment often linked to nature and the passage of time. For Ando, who was raised between two vastly different worlds—a Buddhist temple in Japan and the redwood forest of northern California—the cyclical nature of clouds and other elements in the natural world serve as a metaphor for impermanence and interdependence.
As Ando states, “The natural world is a part of my vocabulary because it is a universal way of discussing the human condition.” Like the temporality of shifting clouds or falling leaves, our time here is impermanent. It’s a concept that in Western culture may be perceived as nihilistic, but for Ando, who is informed by her experience growing up in Japan, it’s quite the opposite. “The paintings invite viewers to consider an alternative perspective—to become aware of and to appreciate the present moment.”
Over the course of her career, Ando has focused on a variety of natural phenomena to express her ideas, from the seventy-two micro-seasons of an early Japanese calendar system (the subject of her 2019 solo exhibition at Sundaram Tagore Singapore) to the phases of the moon. Clouds, however, have been a lifelong fascination.
One of Ando’s formative experiences was apprenticing for a master metalsmith in Japan, where she encountered the powerful imagery of the hamon, a cloud-like pattern that appears along the edge of a sword. The hamon is an effect of a traditional hardening process unique to Japanese swordsmithing. The duality of soft, vaporous patterns articulated in hardened steel not only helped shape the young artist’s visual vocabulary, but also reaffirmed her instinct that materiality would be a significant aspect of her practice. The philosophical metaphor of swords and clouds would ultimately manifest in her work in the use of metal, a material that conveys strength and permanence, which paradoxically, is the support on which she expresses ideas of impermanence and ephemeral beauty.
Supervise children at all times and no food or drinks.
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