< Rina Murao


Murao studied art in Western New York in the late 90s. While studying installation and environmental art in search of her own form of expression, she gained exposure to social geography, landscape architecture, and other fields which deal with human relationships with space. After returning to Japan, she has consistently pursued an inquiry into how she can create sculptures that define human spatiality—the relationships and interrelationships between humans and their surroundings. Her recent works include sculptures that explore the psychological distance between human space and the horizon. In her Balcony series, she uses the balcony as a metaphor for a part of the human mind, the boundary between psychological and physical or personal and extra-personal space.


Rina Murao is born in 1975, Nagoya City, Japan, and currently lives and works in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and in 1998. In the summer of 1997, she completed the Career Discovery Program in landscape architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. After she returned to her home country, she received a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) (2002), and Doctor of Fine Arts (DFA) (2006) in sculpture from the Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Fine Arts. She is awarded the Graduation Work Purchase Prize (2002) and Nomura Art Prize of the Nomura Foundation (2005), and her works are in the collection of the University Art Museum of the Tokyo University of the Arts.
She received numerous grants from foundations such as the Nitto Foundation (2019, 2015), the Nomura Foundation (2022, 2017), and the Hibi Science Foundation (2014).
Her recent exhibitons includes:
2022 ‘Horizon and Horizontality’ Sakura AUA Gallery, (Nagoya City, Japan); 2021 ‘THE BALCONY’ ex-chamber museum (Tokyo, Japan); 2019 ‘Pond, Lake, and Sea – Towards the Horizon’ Rina Murao Solo Exhibition, ‘Gallery Red Brick, Kyongnon Hall, University of Seoul (Seoul, Korea); 2019 ‘We Weave Seaweed on a Seawave’ Rina Murao Solo Exhibition, Czong Institute of Contemporary Art (CICA) Museum (Gimpo, Korea); 2017 ‘Allonge: Beyond Physical Limits’ Satellite Gallery, Aichi University of the Arts (Nagoya City, Japan)


“There is a great force that surrounds us, which lies beyond what we usually see. Sometimes, I feel that I can connect to this realm that remains unknown, and just beyond my reach. In making my sculptures, I search for a path that leads to such vastness of space. In doing so, I draw on ideas in ‘the Japanese culture of boxes.’ For instance, a teahouse is a square box with an entry of a small square opening: Going through it, the feeling of space can be expanded, leading to infinity.”