a life

Yasuo Mizui : The Artist

Yasuo Mizui entered into Kobe University in 1944.During World War II, he worked as technician at a company and learned casting. After his graduation in 1947, he entered Tokyo University of the Arts and majored in Sculpture. He was taught by Kazuo Kikuchi and Hirakushi Denchū. The reason of shifting his interest from mechanical engineering to sculpture was because he hoped of possibility of power of art, which has no frontier nor war and he chose “Art casting – Casting daibutsu” as his thesis.

After graduation from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1953, he obtained a scholarship from French government to study further at École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris from 1953 to 1958, where he learned monumental art and sculpture from Alfred Janniot and Marcel Gimond. He apprenticed Apel·les Fenosa from 1954 to 1958 while studying at the university. While visiting the atelier, Fenosa assigned Mizui to create one piece of work made by clay every day upon his arrival. After several months, Mizui felt despair from his own creativity. However, he managed to create one at the last minute. This experience helped his subsequent career to attend the International Sculpture Symposium and to create large monumental works under the French program 1% for art.

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“I aim for unification. The stone sculpture becomes my act. My act becomes stone sculpture. “

Yasuo Mizui

The Nachi Waterfall in Japan would gush out somewhere in France as the rain continually digs into the rock of the fountain.”  Yasuo Mizuo

Between Japan and France

He will use his sensitivity to enter into a dialogue with the stone, in pursuit of organic forms …

He will exhibit and respond to several state orders, settling in France …

He will exhibit in Tokyo, Ogaki, Osaka, Hakone, Gifu …

But also in Austria, Berlin (Germany), Negev (Israel), Yugoslavia, Ruzbachy (Czechoslovakia), Palm Beach (Florida) …

Jean-Rosenberg, professor at the University of Poitiers, says of Mizui’s sculpture:

In his non-figurative art, the temporal dimension is absent. There are no messages encoded through symbols or figures. His work is cosmic. You can feel the origin of life and evolution; it represents universal entities, not individualized, but as they appear at the beginning of evolution “.

Medal of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. (1985) Handed over by Jack Lang


1925 – Born in Kyoto, Japan.

1944 – Kyoto Technical High School, Japan.

1945 – World War II, during which he works as a technician.

1947 – Graduated from the National Graduate School of Engineering, Kobe, Japan. After World War II, he completed his technological studies, then decided to devote himself to sculpture. This important decision was motivated by his concern for life after the war.

1953 – Graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts, Japan. Obtains a scholarship from the French government, enrolls at the National School of Fine Arts, Paris.

1959 – Personal prize of A.ssus on the occasion of the first Biennale in Paris, France.

1962 – Prize (Deutscher Kritikerpreis Prize) of German Critics on the occasion of the 2nd European Sculpture Symposium, Berlin

1964 – Kōtarō Takamura Sculpture Prize, Japan. « The walls of the fossil » for the Olympic Games, Tokyo, Japan. « The Infinite Resonances of the Fossil » for the Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan

1968 – Microcosm and Macrocosm for the Winter Olympics, Grenoble, France. First work as part of the 1% artistic « Petrified Water Jet », Bordeaux, France. First work as part of the “1% artistic”; « Petrified water jet », Bordeaux, France.

1981 – Invited by the Hakoné Museum, Japan 2nd Henry Moore Grand Prix Competition, Invited by Hakone Open Air Museum, Japan.

1985 – Receives the badge of Commander of Arts and Letters by the French State, France. Six Ridge / Basin, width 32 m, Universiade Kobe, Japan.

2008 – Death, Apt, France.

After his death

2011 – Retrospective Exhibition at Horikawaoike Gallery, Kyoto, Japan.

2013 – Retrospective exhibition in Luxeuil-les-Bains, Haute-Saône.

2014 – Retrospective exhibition at Lacoste.

2015 – Retrospective exhibition « Yasuo Mizui Sculptor of the Soul » celebrating 90 years of birth in Villeneuve-d’Ascq.

2015-2017 – Installation The Guardian of the Clouds in the garden next to Château de La Celle by the Flag-France Renaissance foundation.

2018 April 4-28 – Exhibition « Yasuo Mizui, sculptor of the soul »; in Wattrelos, France.