Yasuo Mizui was born in 1925 in the city of Kobe in Japan. On completing his art studies at the Tokyo University of Arts, he received a scholarship to the National School of Fine Arts in Paris.
His artistic career began when he was invited in 1959 to participate in the first sculpture Bienelle in Austria initiated by Karl Prantl.
Kosso Eloul also participated in the symposium and he was the one who invited Prantl to Mitzpe Ramon. In 1964, Mizui created a huge wall of sculptures for the Tokyo Olympic games and for the Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France.
Over the years, Mizui displayed his works around the world, and was identified as both a Japanese and a French artist.
Mizui declared himself a “1% artist”, relating to the law in France of 1951, which said that 1% of the state budget of public buildings is spent on artwork, as part of the building.
Indeed, most of Mizui’s works were for decoration of public buildings in this framework. He was highly respected and participated in international sculpture symposia. Andre Malraux, the French culture minister and an art lover himself, greatly praised Mizui’s works.
In the artistic spirit of the mid-20th century, Mizui’s works were also characterized by abstract and geometric shapes. However, he was also tied to tradition and faith of Shintoism and many of his works deal with the fundamentals of this widespread belief in Japan. In the mid-60s, for example, he created 40 sculptures using motifs of Yin and Yang.
Yasuo Mizui died in Japan in 2008.
Mizui named his sculpture “Tribute to the Negev”.
The sculpture is made of hard dolomite, lightly chiseled, resulting in a living, breathing texture. The sculpture is situated in the descent of the ravine at the back end of the cliff, but faces directly to the east, toward the rising sun.
Mizui said “I felt my sculpture as a drop in the sea with immensity of nature. This is the first time that I could hold a chisel in a sincerely humble manner. When I made an elliptical hole in the top part, I felt that the sun light was rising towards me.”
This sculpture, like the many other monumental sculptures in the park from 1962, resonates with the human-idol imagery, inviting the visitor to delve into the sublime landscape spread before him.