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b. 1932, Japan

Kimiyo Mishima Biography

Kimiyo Mishima's artistic practice stems from two fears: that the human footprint will overwhelm the natural environment; and that she may have drowned in an information overload coinciding with Japanese postwar economic growth. In her masterful sculptures and paintings, Mishima channels these anxieties into works that ponder the ubiquity and futility of mass media and unrelenting consumption of mass-produced commodities.

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Mishima began making mostly figurative paintings when she was still a teenager. She shifted towards abstraction in the 1950s and has been working with mixed media from the 1960s on, incorporating collage into her paintings and gathering newspaper and magazine clippings to make intricate compositions. In the collage Transfiguration III (1966), for example, magazine pages have been layered together amidst a wash of blue and black oil paint. A square of clean white sits at the bottom of the composition; the title suggests transcendence from an earthly state, causing the white square to become more than just a place to rest the eye but a moment of radiant quietude.

In the 1970s, Mishima turned her focus to ceramics. Describing these new three-dimensional works as 'breakable printed matter', she silkscreened newspapers, magazines, and advertising flyers onto clay. In Newspaper-F-82 (1982)—part of her solo exhibition Early Works at MEM, Tokyo (7 October-5 November 2017)—Mishima printed a newspaper onto a large clay slab, which she then folded to make it resemble crumpled paper, stained as if worn by rain. However, where the 'paper' rips, the dense interior materiality of the clay is made evident. Mishima has also recreated Japanese comic books in the same manner. In other ceramic works, such as Box Banana 16 (2015), she approximates the forms and textures of cardboard boxes from clay. Through the preservation of fleeting objects in a more permanent form, Mishima creates a monument to ephemeral contemporary culture, pausing consumerism in time and space.

Mishima's sculptures play with ordinary aspects of everyday life, amplifying their scale until they become extraordinary. Her sculpture Work 2012 (2012), situated in Tennozu Isle, Shinagawa, is a larger-than-life version of a trash can: its wire mesh contains giant ceramic imitations of everyday packaging of products including kiwifruit, sake, and cigarettes. While her appropriation of the readymade and mass media shows influence from American Pop artists such as Claes Oldenburg or Andy Warhol, her works also maintain a relationship with the postwar Japanese collectives Gutai and Dokuritsu Art Association, from the latter of which she received numerous competition awards.

She lives and works in Osaka.

Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2018

Kimiyo Mishima Featured Artworks

View All (15)
Bottle 20–6 by Kimiyo Mishima contemporary artwork
Kimiyo MishimaBottle 20–6, 2020Printed and painted ceramic
20.6 x 6.8 x 6.8 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery Contact Gallery
Newspaper 20-8 by Kimiyo Mishima contemporary artwork
Kimiyo MishimaNewspaper 20-8, 2020Printed ceramic
12.6 x 23.5 x 23 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery Contact Gallery
Newspaper 20-6 by Kimiyo Mishima contemporary artwork
Kimiyo MishimaNewspaper 20-6, 2020Printed ceramic
25.5 x 15.5 x 12 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery Contact Gallery
Work 20-CCHC by Kimiyo Mishima contemporary artwork
Kimiyo MishimaWork 20-CCHC, 2020Printed and painted ceramic
16.5 x 10 x 8.2 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery Contact Gallery
Copy 19 by Kimiyo Mishima contemporary artwork
Kimiyo MishimaCopy 19, 2019Printed and painted ceramic
41 x 28.8 x 0.5 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery Contact Gallery
Box Coca Cola Zero 19 by Kimiyo Mishima contemporary artwork
Kimiyo MishimaBox Coca Cola Zero 19, 2019Printed and painted ceramic
20 x 43 x 39 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery Contact Gallery
Copy 19 by Kimiyo Mishima contemporary artwork
Kimiyo MishimaCopy 19, 2019Printed and painted ceramic
41 x 28.6 x 1.1 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery Contact Gallery
Work 66W-2 by Kimiyo Mishima contemporary artwork
Kimiyo MishimaWork 66W-2, 1966Magazine, oil on canvas
162.5 x 130.7 cm
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Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film

Kimiyo Mishima Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Kimiyo Mishima, Kimiyo Mishima at SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery, SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery, Hong Kong
Closed
9 February–21 March 2021 Kimiyo Mishima SHOP Taka Ishii GallerySHOP Taka Ishii Gallery, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Kimiyo Mishima, Kimiyo Mishima at Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie, Basel
Closed
8 June–13 July 2018 Kimiyo Mishima Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie

Kimiyo Mishima In Related Press

Your Guide to the Best Shows in Basel Related Press Your Guide to the Best Shows in Basel 11 June 2018, Frieze

Bruce Nauman, 'Disappearing Acts' Schaulager 17 March – 26 August The Schaulager enjoys immense resources; its founder, Maja Oeri, a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and a major donor to its collection, is honoured with a MoMA gallery in her name. Bruce Nauman's detailed survey exhibition, created in collaboration with that...

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