Ritsue Mishima (b. 1962) Born in Kyoto, Japan, Ritsue Mishima’s career began in 1982 working as a designer for a Japanese advertising firm. She sought more from her artistic career and in 1989 moved to Venice, Italy where she continues to split her time living and working between Venice and Kyoto. Mishima moved to Venice to learn about the traditional art form of Venetian and Murano glassblowing. Having collaborated with the artisans of Murano for the last three decades, Mishima’s oeuvre demonstrates a cultural exchange between the east and west that moves beyond pure aesthetics.
Mishima’s practice incorporates the centuries old tradition of glassblowing and modernizes these techniques by exclusively creating her sculptures in clear glass. The artist has stated that she only works in transparent glass because of the way that light interacts with the material to create new dimensionality, texture, and tone in her work. What distinguishes the artist’s work from other glass artists is the way she fuses together her two senses of identity—her Japanese heritage and her adopted Italian—in her sculptures. Cut, etched, polished, molded, blistered, and joined to achieve different gradients of transparent color in the glass, Mishima’s works rely on the traditional techniques of her Murano studio and pairs them with the elegant, nuanced, and organic qualities that often characterizes Japanese aesthetic design principles.
Mishima has exhibited widely in both solo and group exhibitions and has been the recipient of several highly esteemed prizes that include the Giorgio Armani prize for Best Artist at Sotheby's Contemporary Decorative Arts Exhibition (2001), and the London; Bavarian State Award at ‘Exempla 2012: Glass - material between tradition and innovation’, Munich. Her work can be found in private and public collections internationally such as Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, France; Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Holland;Alter Hof Herding, Coesfeld, Germany; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Holland; Museum Jan van der Togt, Amsterveen, Holland; and The Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Japan.