Earlier this month an exhibition in the Oats Park Art Center’s E.L. Wiegand Gallery opened for Miya Hannan, and an artist’s talk and reception for Hannan will be held Jan. 19 from 5-7 p.m. Her talk begins at 7:30 p.m.
Hannan was awarded a Master of Fine Arts Fellowship from San Francisco Art Institute where she received her M.F.A. in 2007. Before coming to the United States, she received a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from the school of health sciences, Kyushu University and worked for a hospital for seven years in her native country of Japan. She is an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Hannan’s experience extends to the time when she worked in the medical field in Japan.
“While interacting with patients for seven years, I was left with many questions around the issues involving the end of life. Over time, I developed my own philosophical views about death in order to deal with this difficult topic. Influenced by archaeology and Eastern philosophy, as well as by scientific knowledge, my installations, sculptures, and drawings represent my understanding of the importance of accepting death on a larger level.
“I view the world as one comprised of layers and linkages of history, a chain of lives and events that leads from one to the next. The use of repeated or layered elements such as anatomical shapes and people’s names depict this concept in my artwork. Millions of creatures and human beings have come and gone over time, becoming part of the layers of the land. Scientists believe that all these strata are linked, telling us stories of who we are and where we come from.
“Like a scientist, I am driven to look for the missing links between strata. I gradually formulated this idea of linkages as I grew up in Japan and studied science. In Japan, the souls of the dead live on, spirits exist within nature, and land retains its destiny — people inherit the histories of the land on which they live. I am interested in the relationship between humanity and the information trapped in nature.”
Hannan’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions both in the United States and abroad. Her artist’s book, a collaboration project with Brighton Press in San Diego in 2017, is now in the collections of many institutions including the Getty Research Institute and Stanford University.