Contemporary Artist Kimiyo Mishima Dies at 91; Creator Known for Ceramics, Installations Depicting Garbage

Courtesy of Benesse Holdings, Inc.
Kimiyo Mishima stands beside her work, “Another Rebirth 2005-N,” on Naoshima island, Kagawa Prefecture. Image by Alice H. North.
Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Kimiyo Mishima in 2023

Contemporary artist Kimiyo Mishima, who created unique art objects and installations featuring garbage as a symbol of mass consumption society, died on June 19. She was 91.

A funeral service was conducted by her family and those close to her.

Born in Osaka, Mishima started transferring printed media onto ceramics to create sculptures of crumpled newspapers, leaflets and empty cans from around 1970. Her works were praised at home and abroad for humorously criticizing mass consumption and the growth of the information society. In 1974, she won the gold medal in the International Ceramic Exhibition held at the Faenza Ceramic Museum in Faenza, Italy.

In 2005, Mishima created an installation consisting of an approximately five-meter-tall trash can on Naoshima island in Kagawa Prefecture. Some of her works are held at the British Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago, and she received the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award in fiscal 2021. Her death coincided with the showing of the exhibition “Mishima Kimiyo: Memories for the Future” at the Nerima Art Museum in Nerima Ward, Tokyo.