Miya Ando, Since 9/11: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Zaha Hadid Aquatic Centre, London, UK
"It is my hope that by standing upright the fallen steel columns, I may evoke a quiet yet strong message of transcendence, and the role of education in the growth of hope from tragedy. It was my hope that this sculpture will stand as a beacon for the educational programme”
Since 9/11 is a unique and historic piece of art made from World Trade Centre steel, donated to London by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The steel was recovered from the devastation of Ground Zero following the terrorist attacks on New York on 11th September 2001, which resulted in the deaths of 2977 people
It is the beacon for the SINCE 9/11 Education Programme; teaching young people about the events, causes and consequences of 9/11 in an attempt to ensure that such an atrocity can never occur again. The programme teaches young people toleration and understanding between all faiths and religions .
The artwork was created for the UK charity SINCE 9/11 by New York Artist Miya Ando, and in form is nearly exactly as recovered following the attacks: only the spandrel panel has been polished to reflect the artist’s vision of hope for a better future.
2000 pieces of WTC steel were recovered and stored in Hangar 17 at JFK airport, New York, between 2002 and 2010, when they were released to towns and cities across the US and abroad in time for the tenth anniversary of 9/11 in 2011.
London is the only European capital to receive this honour.
The artwork was originally brought by sea from NY to the UK in 2011 for the tenth anniversary of 9/11, when it was temporarily erected for 4 weeks in Battersea Park. In March 2015, it found a new permanent home in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park when unveiled by Mayor of London Boris Johnson in the presence of US Ambassador Matthew Barzun.
The artwork is 28 feet high and weighs 4 tonnes.
‘Creating a public work of art from the World Trade Centre steel is an incredible honour.
My idea was to sand and re-finish part of the steel to reveal within the material a polished, light- reflecting surface to create a meditative environment on the steel plate. I have left the steel surface on the beams in its natural state. The steel remaining in this unchanged form, thereby presents the material in a pure and honest manner.
It is my hope that by standing upright the fallen steel columns, I may evoke a quiet yet strong message of transcendence, and the role of education in the growth of hope from tragedy. It was my hope that this sculpture will stand as a beacon for the educational programme”
– Miya Ando
Miya Ando is an American visual artist recognized for her paintings, sculptures, and installation artworks exhibited in museums, galleries, and public spaces worldwide.
Miya Ando's artworks are a physical articulation of the artist’s contemplation of the cycles of nature and the passage of time; concept, image, and materials are inextricably linked in the artist’s work. The layered, refractive surfaces of Ando’s sculptures and paintings on metal or wood, mirror the impermanent, ephemeral nature of their subject, which is often fleeting natural phenomena: the seasons, day, night, clouds, tides - materialized in ink, pigment, micronized silver, gold, mica, oil, or resin.
Ando frequently chooses multilingual titles for her artworks - a Japanese word and its approximate English translation - to reveal the variations in thought and perception between the two cultures which have informed her identity and experience. Ando’s titles contain nuanced, arcane or literary Japanese words naming and describing the varied qualities of moonlight, rain, clouds, and other elements - language that expresses a relationship to nature and a philosophy of existence not present in the West, which the artist preserves and translates into visual form through her art.
Ando’s work has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at The Asia Society Museum, Houston; The Noguchi Museum, New York; Savannah College Of Art and Design Museum, Savannah; The Nassau County Museum, Roslyn Harbor; and The American University Museum, Washington DC. Her work has also been included in recent group exhibitions at The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Haus Der Kunst, Munich; The Bronx Museum; and The Queens Museum of Art, NY. Ando’s work is included in the public collections of LACMA; The Nassau County Museum; The Corning Museum of Glass; The Detroit Institute of Arts; The Luft Museum; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; The Santa Barbara Museum of Art; The Museum of Art and History; 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 has produced several public commissions, most notably a thirty-foot-tall sculpture built from World Trade Center steel for Olympic Park in London to mark the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, for which she was nominated for a DARC Award in Best Light Art Installation. Ando was also commissioned to create artwork for the historic Philip Johnson Glass House, New Canaan, CT. The artist holds a bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, studied East Asian Studies at Yale University and apprenticed with a Master Metalsmith in Japan.