Ritsue Mishima, frozen garden/ "fruits of fire"

Ritsue Mishima, frozen garden/ "fruits of fire"
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
6 February to 30 May 2010

Ritsue Mishima, one of today’s leading glass artists, is filling a Japanese zengarden in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen with glass objects. It will be a garden that plays with the inspiring Dutch light, captured differently each time by the Venetian glass.

This spring Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presents an exhibition of some thirty glass objects by the Japanese glass artistsRitsue Mishima (Kyoto 1962). Twenty new glass works in harmony with the location are being made especially for the exhibition. A number of loans and items from the museum’s own collection will also be shown. Mishima’s objects will stand low to the ground in a specially constructed installation in the museum. Visitors walking along the path among the objects will experience an emotional play of Dutch light.

Crystal clear
Mishima started out in 1982 as an stylist for advertising firms. In 1996 her career took on an extra dimension when she dedicated herself to the creation of glass objects. She uses only crystal-clear glass for her pieces, bringing the glass to life with the assistance of a team of craftsmen. This takes a great deal of physical strength and effort. Every imaginable technique, from appliqué, grinding and polishing to engraving, is brought into play to achieve a true Mishima.

The energy put into the development of the objects is captured in the glass works. Each Mishima object is unique and has its own character, so that they always reflect the light differently. Mishima’s emotions are expressed through her works—at times as playful, flowing forms, at others as savagely powerful elements. Mishima draws inspiration for the shapes from nature. The universe with its heavenly bodies, stars and meteorites also plays an important role in the design of her works.

Mishima: ‘How can I explain my emotions? Thanks to the  glassblowers, minerals and fire, everything is blended to make  glass. It all comes together in a race against time and a shape develops from within. The incessant rhythm of material and action during the glassblowing can always fill me with excitement and passion.’

Ritsue Mishima lives and works in Tokyo and Venice, and her work is exhibited all over the world. She has had shows in Tokyo, Berlin, San Francisco, London, Brussels and Milan. The objects are on display in the Venetian Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009). Mishima was awarded the Giorgio Armani Prize for best artist at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Decorative Arts Exhibition in London in 2001.