Artist Miya Ando Transforms New York’s Brookfield Place into a Botanical Wonderland Inspired by Japan’s 72 Micro-Seasons
The artist was named the 2023 Brookfield Place New York Annual Arts Commission recipient.
American artist Miya Ando (b. 1973) maintains a conceptual and materially diverse practice inspired by nature and temporality, frequently referring to ephemeral elements such as weather, seasonal changes, or tide patterns. Based in New York, her work has been exhibited internationally and received numerous awards and commissions.
Last year, Ando was named the awardee of the 2023 Brookfield Place New York Annual Arts Commission, which offers each year’s recipient the opportunity to produce a new work for a public setting. Ando has chosen to highlight to effects of climate change in her installation piece Flower Atlas, which will be on view in the Winter Garden of Brookfield Place through September 14, 2023.
Flower Atlas engages with a traditional mode of Japanese time-telling—the Kō calendar—which is comprised of 72 annual seasons. The work sees 72 cloth banners suspended across the site’s brilliant glass atrium, with each corresponding to one of the Kō calendar seasons. Based on observations of nature and natural processes, such as when certain fruits ripen or animals emerge from winter, the subtle yet significant progression of time is reflected in Flower Atlas through the meticulously crafted cloths featuring a range of media, including ink, micronized silver, gold, mica, oil, or resin.
Visitors to the Winter Garden will be met with an undulating and visually immersive sky of imagery, which invites the search for specific dates and times of year. In the process of beholding the immense work, ideas around the perception of time, the environment, and the Anthropocene come to the fore.
Complementing the installation of Flower Atlas will be an artist talk, “Artistic Reflections on Climate Change,” on July 20, 2023. The event will feature a discussion with Ando and Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale and moderated by Kendal Henry, an artist and curator with more than three decades of experience specializing in global public art projects. The discussion will highlight the ways each artist sees and engages with issues of climate change. The event will culminate with the announcement of the 2024 Brookfield Place New York Annual Arts Commission recipient.
Brookfield Place has become a bastion of public arts, not least of all for this annual award. Later this summer, following the exhibition of Ando’s Flower Atlas installation, the venue will host an on-site opera, Song of the Nightingale, commissioned and produced by On Site Opera and Arts Brookfield. Presented across three of Brookfield Properties’ public sites, including Brooklyn Commons, Manhattan West, and Brookfield Place, the opera is adapted from Hans Christian Anderson’s The Nightingale—a story of a collector searching the world for the most beautiful objects.
“Miya Ando: Flower Atlas” is on view in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place through September 14, 2023.
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