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.