Hiné Mizushima, who was born and raised in Japan, majored in Japanese traditional painting before working as a designer and Illustrator in Tokyo. She later moved to Rome, then Paris, and then NYC. Seventeen years ago she left Brooklyn for Vancouver, Canada where she lives with her family. She is currently a fibre craft artist.
She has been commissioned for many commercial music videos for the NYC rock band, They Might Be Giants. Her soft sculptures have been exhibited in galleries in the USA, Australia, and Japan featured in many books and magazines (including UPPERCASE) and commissioned by Adobe Creative Cloud, The New York Times, and CBC Arts. Hiné has also made miniature collages for Japanese book covers. She recently began working in original Kogin (traditional Japanese hand embroidery) and punch needle for illustrations, brooches, and music videos.
She sells her art at gallery exhibitions, and on her Etsy shop. Her next solo show will be in the fall of 2023, in Tokyo.
I usually make several pieces at the same time for exhibitions.
After I decide the theme, I draw a very simple rough sketch and don’t decide on the details before I start the soft sculpture.
Colour combinations are important and help orient me in the early stages of creating a piece. I also love to incorporate many different materials into my work, such as felt, yarn, wool fibre, beads, trim, wood, etc.
In the first process, I make the main part (e.g. octopus, squid, anatomical heart, etc), for each piece, then I make the sub parts (little creatures, plants) separately, and then temporary assemble these with sewing pins, before letting it ‘sleep' for a while (it is about 60% complete at this point). Then I start a second piece, and repeat, and third...
In the second process, I start adding more details to each piece, like embroidery, beads, interesting materials, etc. Some very good ideas and details always come out automatically while I am hand-sewing and assembling, especially at the very end of the process, which often takes me beyond my original idea. Then again I let it ‘sleep’ for a while (it is about 90% complete at this point)
In the third process, finally, I carefully watch the balance of each piece and the pose of the creature, assemble all the parts together with glue and thread. No room for mistakes!