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Colour & Materials
Published: 29 Jan 2014

Miya Ando: Anodised Aluminium Paintings

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New York-based artist Miya Ando uses chemical techniques such as anodisation and patination to transform industrial metals into compelling artworks. 

Ando exploits the reflective qualities of metal by creating ethereal, minimalistic landscapes of metallic horizons. She skilfully produces light-reflecting gradients on the material by applying heat, sandpaper, grinders, acid and patinas. 

Her signature process involves submerging aluminium into an electrochemical bath, before plating it with sapphire crystals to harden it and make it more receptive to dyeing. It is then washed with water and hand-brushed with multiple layers of mixed colours and chemicals. Immersing the metal into a vat of boiling liquid then snaps the surface crystals shut and holds the dye permanently.

Her forthcoming exhibition Light Work, showing at the Sundaram Tagore gallery in Hong Kong from February 13 to March 22 2014, features paintings that emit a “ghostly halo” through phosphorescent pigments painted under the dyes.

Look to our Anodised Colour report for more on the application of chemical treatments on metal. Softened and gradated colour is explored in our Ethereal Colourscapes and Colour Diffusion reports, as well as our Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Colour Spectrum rationale, Dimensions.

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