Tetsuo Mizù is a Japanese artist who gained prominence in the 1980s through his Flag Series paintings. He creates designs by combining international maritime signal flags, which represent the title of the work. His works have been exhibited in various museums and galleries across Europe, including a joint exhibition with Dali in Beaune, France, in 1990, which showcased his acclaim in the European art scene. Mizù’s paintings feature matte and full-brimmed textures divided by extra-fine lines, representing modern abstract art. His works have an affinity with Ukiyo-e, and his early paintings were monotone. He created stained-glass works and installed them at the Church of St. Anna in Lavinio, Rome, during his time living in Italy, France, and Spain. His works are still popular today and have been showcased in various art fairs worldwide, such as Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, and Art Rio in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Tetsuo Mizú’s paintings imbue maritime flags with a sense of play. The artist’s vibrant geometrical compositions combine the iconography of nautical signal flags with vernaculars of his own invention to generate new meanings. Mizú was commissioned to create a stained glass installation at the church of St. Anna in the Italian seaside town of Lavinio, as well as a large-scale mural for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan. Anchored by internationally recognized symbols and iconography, his works transcend cultural borders. Mizú’s paintings find unexpected harmony in disparate colors and patterns.