Kimiyo Mishima

Dates: Feb 9 – Mar 21, 2021 [Chinese New Year Holidays: Feb 12 – 15]
Location: SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery, Hong Kong
By appointment only.

SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Kimiyo Mishima, the prominent Japanese contemporary artist, from February 9 – March 21, 2021. Responding to western art movements, such as Art Informel, Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, Mishima developed techniques such as collage and repetitive imagery since the 1950s. Over the past six decades, the artist has persisted in exploring our relationship with ‘information’ in materialized forms. This exhibition will feature her early paintings of the 1960s – 1970s along with her latest ceramic works.

I’m worried we’ll live our lives inundated in a sea of trash.

Kimiyo Mishima, Contemporary Clay: Japanese Ceramics for the New Century, p.22
Boston: MFA Publications, 2005

Collaged oil paintings are Mishima’s icon of the 1960s. The large-scale paintings “Work 65-H” (1965) and “Work 66-Y” (1966) on view are characteristically textured with magazine prints. Through appropriating repeated lettering and imagery of the human body, the canvas works expressed her fear towards an overly informational society. By transferring printed matter found in everyday life onto thin layers of clay with a silkscreen process or by meticulous hand drawings, the artist has further developed on the lasting theme into ceramic works after 1971. The replicates of worn cardboard boxes, paper-wrapped bottles, well-thumbed piles of publications are exemplary of her “breakable printed matter”. With a sense of ironic humor, Mishima’s ceramic work points to a materialized process in which information obtains a form of quick-consumables, and destined to become waste material. However, when prints take the form of delicate ceramics, the once discarded information now requires our extra care, leading us to reflect on our collective behavior of consumerism.

Kimiyo Mishima was born in 1932 in Osaka and currently lives and works in Osaka and Gifu. Mishima witnessed the large-scale bombing raids in her city as a child. Her anxiety projected onto the devastating vision of war-time destructions was shifted to the overwhelming information floods in the post-war economy, in which advertising flyers, newspaper and magazine provide nonstop information in different aspects of life. Facing objection from her mother against her pursuit of medical research, she continued to explore her interest in painting. Upon graduating from high school in 1951, Mishima joined the Atelier Montagne Youga Kenkyusho led by Shigeji Mishima in 1952, and the Independent Art Association from 1954 to 1969 (Dokuritsu Bijutsu Kyokai). She later married to Shigeji Mishima, who had studied under the guidance of the leader of the Gutai Art Association, Jiro Yoshihara. The couple had enlightened each other in their creative productions. In 1986, she received the Rockefeller Scholarship ACC and lived and worked in New York for a year.

Mishima will participate in the group show “Another Energy: Power to Continue Challenging – 16 Women Artists from around the World” at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, from April to September 2021. Her solo exhibitions include the Contemporary Art Museum, Ise, Mie (2004). She has also, participated in the “Contemporary Japanese Art”, Musee d’ Art et d’ Histoire, Geneva (1983), “Contemporary Japanese Ceramic”, The Everson Museum of Art, New York (1992) and Itinerant International Exhibition, Japan-Brazil, Art Museum of Sao Paulo (1998). Her works are included in the permanent collections of the Everson Museum of Art, New York; Asian Cultural Council, New York; Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Florida; Museum of Art Olot, Spain; Smith College, Massachusetts; Musée Cernuschi, Paris; Musée Ariana, Geneva; Korean Culture & Arts Foundation, Seoul; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; National Museum of Art, Osaka; Benesse Art Site Naoshima; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; M+, Hong Kong among others.

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