Mizù’s motifs of maritime signal flags make him a very unique artist; working with the coded system of international maritime signal flags, where the alphabets embed different meanings, with different sets of colors and patterns, an assortment of primary colors and geometrical shapes are put together to create meanings, in order to communicate between ships at sea. Mizù fuses these patterns with the memories of his stay in Italy and the times he played flag games with his daughter, to create soft hued rhythmic patterns that signal abstraction.
Surface texture is very important to Mizù’s oeuvre; the artist carefully builds up the paint surface in a rough buttery texture that enriches his chosen palette. In other words, ‘matière’, matter and substance, represents the residue of the artist’s labor on the canvas. Mizù uses soft brushstrokes to generate a kind of pliable creamy textures, Mamoru Yonekura, the Japanese art critic once described Mizù’s art as: “together with his subtle hues, the quality of Mizù’s matière is as pearls or ivory.” Furthermore, Mizù is fascinated with music, and the quality of his matière is akin to sounds, floating along the surface of the canvas. Such melodious attributes are enhanced by the lyricism of the titles.
Born in Tokyo in 1944 and studied paintings in Musashino Art School, Mizù encountered Modigliani’s paintings in 1968, and the latter became the artist’s lifelong inspiration. Notable commissions of Mizù include, a stained-glass work for the church of St. Anna in Lavino, Rome in 1987, and a large-scale mural for the Nagano Winter Olympics in Japan in 1998. Mizù also published illustrated art books. He had exhibited extensively throughout his career, including a momentous exhibition in 1989, ‘Chagall, Dali, Picasso, Melois, and Mizù’ at B.I.A.F. Art Inter AG, in Barcelona, and held solo exhibitions throughout the world including, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Japan and Hong Kong.