Ritsue Mishima’s work is an anomaly in the world of contemporary Venetian
glass. Her trademark is intuitive, colourless, glass objects with remarkably
rough and occasionally playful surface treatments. With this conscious and
challenging limitation of possibilities, Mishima occupies an exceptional
position within the production of Italian glass. Nonetheless, her imposing
oeuvre can be read as a showcase of classical blowing and decorative
techniques, so that it is indirectly rooted in the rich tradition of Murano glass.
Mishima often sets to work without a preconceived plan. She rarely if ever
makes detailed design drawings. Instead she makes miniature clay models
during the glassblowing process to indicate to the team of glassblowers the
direction to take. Decisions are made during the working process so that the
objects are the result of a close and intuitive partnership between Mishima
and the team.
Mishima finds inspiration in nature and the cosmos. Some of her objects
resemble glistening fish scales or magnified microscopic sea creatures.
Others are inspired by sprouting seeds, weathered tree trunks, exotic fruits
or sinister meteorites, the full moon or twinkling galaxies. The light of
Venice’s lagoon is a recurring source of inspiration. Her Japanese
background is always tangible.
Mishima has garnered international recognition for many years and has had
numerous exhibitions and received many prizes. Although her objects are
unique artworks in their own right, Mishima presents them in carefully
arranged installations. She makes a careful analysis of the exhibition space
and designs a display in which each object is a crucial component in an
intriguing spatial composition. The light in the space plays an essential role
in the realisation of these constellations.