Since 1960 Japanese artist Kimiyo Mishima (b. 1932, Osaka, JP) has been preoccupied by the internal digestion of increasing information and the arrival and consequences of the consumer age. Using collage in her paintings early in her career, as of the 1970s she started working with ceramics and incorporated silkscreens of newspapers and flyers on this support. She worked independently of and parallel to Kansai area Gutai group.
Mishima is first known for her large format oil paintings of the 1960s in which she incorporated Ready-made, Art Informel, Op Art and Abstract Expressionism. Early on, she embraced mixing various images and articles from American and European magazines as well as materials whose initial purpose or message is no longer able to be fulfilled yet is now ingrained in our memory or relegated to trash. These include old indigo kimono material, nets and information flyers. The 8 paintings are on view for the first time in Switzerland.
Printed matter (newspapers, magazine) become waste. Past news is dated yet important for our future. By transferring it on a structure such as canvas, ceramic, clay or fiber-reinforced plastic, Mishima makes it a solid part of our environment and awareness. Important once current events are referenced through clippings. Although eschewing femininity and portraiture she used traces as their icons. Her paintings incorporate luxury items, pharmaceutical and musical references to remind us of our actions and priorities, or lack thereof.
By creating sculptures of everyday consumer culture, she reminds us of the hazards of wastefulness, overloading information, ecological dangers and the need for reflection. The ceramic replicated soda and beer cans in a wire mesh basket reflect our propensity to consume and discard with little attention paid to our health, the environment, short and long term effects of our actions. The colorful stacked iconic Japanese manga comic books beg to be opened. One individual book whose well worn pages partially open up to give us a peak inside is reminiscent of our insatiable curiosity and need for fast action adventure, the page-turning effect of popular comics and serial novels.