Miya Ando in Waiting for the Moon : The Bolinas Museum, California
Miya Ando’s artworks are a visual meditation on the cycles of nature and the passage of time; concept, image, and material are inextricably linked. The layered, refractive surfaces of Ando’s sculptures and paintings on metal or wood are a physical articulation of contemplation of the impermanent, temporal nature of their subjects, including seasons, tides, skyscapes, and elements rendered in ink, pigment, micronized silver, gold, mica, or resin. Her frequent choice of multilingual titles for her artworks—a Japanese word and its approximate English translation—reveals the variations in thought and perception between the two cultures that inform her identity and experience; the Japanese literary words naming and describing the varied qualities of the natural world express a philosophy of existence not often present in Western cultures.
The title of this exhibition is inspired by a series of 1,347 daily drawings created during the Covid lockdowns and in the intervening time. These drawings were made with natural indigo dye and micronized pure silver on Washi and Hahnemühle paper and recorded the night sky between March 17, 2020, and September 7, 2022. The project, named Nanayo, was inspired by an esoteric Japanese Buddhist ritual called “Nanayomachi” or “Shichiyamachi,” which translates to “waiting for seven nights,” wherein the faithful await moonrise and offer prayers during the 17th through the 23rd lunar evenings of each month. The moon drawings are presented in ancient Japan and China’s 72 and 24 seasons calendars. Many pieces in this exhibition, including 30 selected moon drawings and across mediums, link directly to Ando’s deep relationship with Bolinas and coastal Northern California environments.