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Lions Roar : September 2013
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2013 59 Miya Ando Steel Horizons MIYA ANDO IS WEARING head-to-toe black, except for the pearly Buddhist prayer beads around her wrist. But greeting me at the door of her Brooklyn studio, what she wants to show me is pure, vibrant color: the robes she inherited from her grandfather. Ando’s grandfather was the head priest of a small Buddhist temple in Okayama, Japan, where she spent half her childhood. She remembers clearly the sound of chanting through the paper- thin walls and seeing her grandfather dressed in these robes, which she is now carefully unwrapping. They’re made of almost luminescent purple and orange damask and still smell faintly of temple incense. Purple is an unusual color for Nichiren Buddhist robes, Ando tells me, because it’s reserved for those who have been priests for fifty years or more. It is this purple and the contrasting orange that’s got her thinking about the impact of color and how she can incorporate it into her art. Miya Ando displaying her grandfather’s Buddhist robes. PHOTOSBYRIGHT:LIZAMATTHEWS,ABOVE:LAURENWARD