Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Disposable World

“breakable printed matter”
Kimiyo Mishima

In her late thirties the Japanese artist Kimiyo Mishima changed from being primarily a painter to sculpture using silkscreened ceramics as her medium. It was a move that saw her become one of Japan’s prominent contemporary artists.

Born in Osaka in 1932, Mishima started painting in her teens and in her mid-twenties she abandoned the figurative style in favor of an expressionist one. The freedom of this approach saw her, within three years, incorporate collage into her work using diverse materials like mosquito nets, blankets, newspapers and magazines. 

Mishima’s growing interest in the variety of messages available from the printed materials saw her, in less than a decade of her stylistic change, add silkscreen printing to repertoire. From there it was a short step to the three dimensional.

The Tokyo Inn Hotel’s commissioned Work 2012 (see below) is an atypical example of the concerns that have driven Mishima’s work in both her painting and sculpture. As tall as the shuttle busses that pass on their way to disgorge the hotels arriving guests and with its supermarket of colors, most of the replicated contents could easily have come from one of the hotels mini-bars.

For it is this discussion and depiction of the discarded ephemera of a disposable world that concerns Mishima, from the concrete to the flickering screen.

As she has said it’s “The fear and anxiety of being drowning in information.”

An exhibition of Mishima’s paintings from the 1960’s is currently on show at Taka Ishii Gallery in New York until the 9th of April.

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