Transformations, Bang & Olufsen By Miya Ando, An Alliance Forged By Craftsmanship

Bang & Olufsen and American artist Miya Ando have teamed up to present “Transformations, Bang & Olufsen by Miya Ando” – a series of twenty hand dyed, anodized aluminum paintings and hand painted Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 12 loudspeakers, which are inspired by the nature of metals and luminosity. This sublime and dynamic series of twenty paintings and corresponding speakers was unveiled in San Francisco, at the Bang & Olufsen Townsend Street showroom on October 2, 2013 –  marking the US debut of this special collection.

"Transformations, Bang & Olufsen by Miya Ando" Special Edition BeoLab 12 Speakers.  (PRNewsFoto/Bang & Olufsen)

“Transformations, Bang & Olufsen by Miya Ando” Special Edition BeoLab 12 Speakers. (PRNewsFoto/Bang & Olufsen)

As an artist, Miya Ando pays homage to the ancient ideas that shaped her upbringing in Japan. A descendant of Bizen sword makers, Ando was raised among sword smiths and Buddhist priests in a temple in Okayama, Japan and in a redwood forest in Northern California. Combining traditional techniques of her ancestry with modern industrial technology, Ando transforms plates of anodized aluminium into ephemeral, abstract paintings. “I approached the BeoLab 12 speaker as a metal canvas and sculpture“, Miya Ando explains. “The surface of metal changes and transforms constantly like light. It is very similar to what happens in music – like art music has the power of transformation and transcendence. Applying my art work and focus on graduation and transformations of colours to an aluminium loudspeaker is a perfect match for me.”

When creating Transformations, Bang & Olufsen by Miya Ando the focus has been on transition and graduation as Bang & Olufsen focus on transition in their products and on creating designs that are natural and adapt to the surroundings without ever going unnoticed. This is also the case for the focal point of the collaboration – BeoLab 12, an all-digital loudspeaker developed for use with both audio and flat screen TV solutions and created to enhance the acoustic experience of home entertainment systems and to stand or hang on your wall like a work of art that can be admired time and time again.

Miya Ando uses her signature hand-brushed, ‘industrial watercolour’ technique on anodized aluminium while Bang & Olufsen employs ground-breaking, specialized and complex techniques to craft aluminium for the companies’ iconic TV-sets, loudspeakers and music systems. In Transformations, Bang & Olufsen by Miya Ando, the two have come together at Bang & Olufsen’s world leading aluminium factory to create a limited edition of the BeoLab 12 aluminum speakers – hand painted by a technique created by Miya Ando.

For New York-based Ando collaborating with the Denmark-based company in Struer, was an obvious choice: “I have deep respect for Bang & Olufsen’s commitment to craftsmanship and to the making of well-crafted objects along with their pioneering and innovating techniques. Bang & Olufsen and I also share a profound respect for the nature of metals. I believe that in order to create art, you need to have knowledge and respect for the material you’re working with. Bang & Olufsen is a company with great integrity in their use of materials and they are uncompromising when it comes to quality. That resonates with me and inspires.”

It is especially the encounter between metal and nature that has inspired Miya Ando in her work with BeoLab 12: “Nature is a great source of inspiration to me. I’m intrigued with nature’s graduation of colours and how this interplays with the reflection of light. When the industrial aluminium blends with delicate colours it changes the perception of the metal. I’m fascinated by how something industrial can transform into something natural and evoke the feeling of a cloud or water, and this reminds me that all things are interconnected,” Ando explains.

Working with aluminum has been a core competence of Bang & Olufsen for almost 50 years and the company’s dedicated team of aluminium specialists has made it an aim to constantly challenge them towards innovation in this area. For Bang & Olufsen, the benefits of using aluminium are almost limitless. Apart from being an acoustically almost perfect material, it is, as a manufacturing material, flexible, durable and lightweight, as well as being environment-friendly and 100 % recyclable. Thus, bringing in craftsmen or  artists with a new and different approach to aluminium is a way of raising the bar and get new inspiration in this important area.

Bang & Olufsen Chemist Engineer and Aluminium Specialist, Ib Kongstad, explains why such collaboration is interesting for Bang & Olufsen: “Our innovation at Bang & Olufsen depends on our willingness to try new ways and break ground where no one has walked before. The art of Miya Ando had an immediate impact on me both emotionally but certainly also technically. Miya’s process is fascinating and captures the essence of Bang & Olufsen – she honors old craftsmanship traditions while creating something incredibly innovative.”

Transformations, Bang & Olufsen by Miya Ando, was revealed at a grand vernissage at Galerie Asbæk in Copenhagen on September 3rd and now in the state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen Townsend Street showroom. The limited edition of the twenty BeoLab 12 speakers and the matching paintings on aluminium canvas will be available for sale at select Bang & Olufsen stores worldwide following the exhibition.

Information on where Transformations, Bang & Olufsen by Miya Ando can be purchased, please e-mail: transformationsbymiyaando@bang-olufsen.com. For further inquiries regarding available work please contact info@miyaando.com. For more information on the artist please visit www.miyaando.com