Ritsue Mishima: Frozen Garden/Fruits of Fire at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Vento del Nord, 2009, 37 cm high by 46 cm wide. (Photo by Francesco Barasciutti.)

Powerful works in glass by Ritsue Mishima have arrived at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. The Japanese glass artist has made 19 monumental glass objects especially for the exhibition. Frozen Garden/Fruits of Fire is open through May 30, 2010.

The 30 works by Ritsue Mishima (Kyoto, 1962) will play with the inspiring Dutch light in a specially constructed winter garden in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The Venetian glass captures the light differently each time. Nineteen new vases stand low to the ground along with some loans and items from the museum’s collection. Visitors who walk along the path among the objects will experience an emotional play of Dutch light.

Mishima started out as an interior designer for architects and magazines. In 1996, her career took on an extra dimension when she began to make her own designs in a quest for the ultimate vase. She uses only crystal-clear glass for her pieces, bringing the glass to life with the assistance of a team of specialists. This takes a great deal of physical strength and effort. Every imaginable decoration technique-from application, 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 vases. Each Mishima object is unique and has its own character so that the light is reflected in a different way. Mishima’s emotions are expressed through her works-sometimes as playful, flowing forms, sometimes as savagely powerful elements. Mishima draws inspiration for the shapes from objects in 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, London, Brussels, Berlin, San Francisco and Milan. The objects will also be 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.

For more information, visit www.boijmans.nl.


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