Rina MARUYAMA

 

BIOGRAPHY

"I was born in 1978 in Yukuhashi, a small provincial town on Kyusyu Island in Japan. In this town, there was no cultural or economic stimulation. It was almost amorphous for everything. Within this world, I spent a childhood that was itself amorphous. I was neither a pretty nor an ugly girl, neither bright nor bad in class. My family was neither rich nor poor, in short, everything around me was banal. Especially in class, I felt non-existent. At home, the same. I was a rather easy child, so my parents didn't care much about me. That's why sometimes, I wanted to shout to all those people: "Look at me, I exist “. I wanted to appear in this world but I didn't know how to express it. I started to dance and sing in secret, dreaming of becoming someone. In vain, because I always felt good for nothing. The only occupation to fill my desperate heart was drawing. I drew manga characters in my notebooks every day during class. However, no one noticed what I was doing...to them, my drawings as well as my person did not exist. Despite my unhappiness, I finished my studies as a dietician and entered the working world. I had the responsibility of managing a team of ladies much older than me. With them, I peeled vegetables, grilled fish daily for over 10 years. I was quite happy with this situation, but regularly I wondered if this was really my life. Would it end like this with those ladies peeling vegetables? 

And on my 32nd birthday, really by chance, I signed up for an oil painting class, which I had never done before. The teacher was a very old master who taught really classical painting techniques, almost old-fashioned, like 19th century. I felt very comfortable with him and I flourished throughout my learning. I began to dream of doing portraits like he did. One day I found an old photo of my grandfather when he was in the army during the second world war. In this photo, there were 18 young soldiers who looked no more than 20 years old. Instinctively, I wanted to paint their portraits individually. I became passionately involved in this experience. Through this personal exercise, I finally felt like I existed. As if by chance (again!), the year 2015 was the 70th anniversary of the commemoration of the end of the Second World War, an association of veterans proposed me to exhibit them, first locally and then all over Japan. My works were broadcasted in the media. I was congratulated, interviewed, considered for the first time in my life. I realized that this was how I wanted to exist. Like a hurricane, I had to concentrate totally on my art. I had to escape this world, escape my past to be reborn.

Spontaneously, my attention turned to the city of Paris and the Louvre Museum. In October 2016, I moved there and asked the Louvre for permission to copy paintings. I felt so good, surrounded by masterpieces of an era and artists that were no more, while outside, the contemporary art paintings presented in the art galleries did not fit me. This was not the way I wanted to express myself and position myself. However, I still didn't know what I wanted to paint.
One day I started measuring my body, my arms, legs and feet. I even shaved my head to measure it (like Demi Moore in "Equal Weapons"). I faithfully reproduced them on canvases almost 2 m high in my small 18m2 studio. This was the proof of my existence and inspired the name of my first exhibition in September 2018 "I am Japanese" which included 25 paintings. As part of a Performance, I paraded them through the streets of Paris by having friends wear them. People were looking at my works, talking to me, I was happy, finally, I existed. I had more than 200 visitors during my exhibition, including art critics such as Christian Noobergen.
With this success, I started to create a second series of large-format paintings "Pregnant Women" and a 10m painting. I rented a studio with other artists for a year (April 2019- July 2020). During this period, Covid-19 started and by bad luck, I caught it: I lost the senses of taste and smell and was about to have pneumonia too. But, despite many difficulties, I managed to finish this work. I started the third series in Paris "Older Women" in 2020 from November on. I had difficulty creating because it was the period of confinement: I painted every day at home in a very small space. It's difficult to change my technique for each series but that's what I'm looking for at all costs. Finally, it took me 6 months to finish this work (until April 2021). After that, a French art critic named Cristian Noorbergen came to my house to see my paintings. He liked the paintings and wrote an article about me in the magazine "Aralya" in August 2021.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Unbeing 


“ I chose to give this series of pregnant women the title ‘’ Unbeing ‘’
Since before being born man is dead, and dead he will be forever after.
Therefore our permanent state of being is that of death, temporarily interrupted by the act of birth.
To be born then, is to enter into an abnormal state called life. What are we doing here?  
For who, and for what purpose do we exist?
And at the end of this ephemeral journey we leave everything we have acquired. Is it a reward? A punishment?
And what of the role of women in it?
Are they condemned to reproduce this enigmatic renewal of’’ Unbeing’’?

March 8 will be International Women’s Day, and I hope this exhibition will give you an opportunity to reflect on it…

TRAINING

Born in Japan in 1978

Training:

Began his artistic activity at the age of 32.
Studied a portrait painting technique with Professor Toru Shin.
2016 October-December: Authorization of copyist (Louvre Museum).

EXHIBITIONS

 

 

"Reborn of a Women", gallery de Thorigny, March-April 2022, Paris, France.

"Giving in to the essentials", gallery 55Bellechasse, November-December 2021, Paris, France.

"I am a Japanese woman", September 2018, gallery In)(between, Paris, France: second solo exhibition, as part of "L'année du Japon en France", celebrating 160 years of friendship between the two countries.

"18 portraits of soldiers" - 70 years after the war: first personal exhibition in Fukuoka presenting a series of portraits of soldiers. The exhibition toured in two houses of culture and in a municipal cultural center.

July 2015 (House of Culture) - Yukuhashi, Fukuoka, Japan,

September 2015 (House of Culture) - Chikuzenmachi, Fukuoka,

Japan, November 2015 (Municipal Cultural Centre), Fukuoka, Japan.

IMG_6733.JPG

EXHIBITION - Rina MARUYAMA creates REBIRTH OF A WOMAN

“Body of sky, body in weightlessness, body-universe. Young artist from Japan, Rina Maruyana, Parisian by adoption, proposes a very rich renewed vision of the human being. Spiritualized, densified and as if in weightlessness, the sacralized flesh detaches itself modestly, and proudly, from the expanse. It reigns in plenitude. In infinity. 
The wisdom of Asia embraces from within its sumptuous nakedness. Imprinted with another thought, when it is the body that triggers thoughts, and oxygenates the mind in depth. The painted bodies of Rina Maruyana, against a background of unfathomable space, are as many soul markers, at the limits of all carnal expectations. Her bodies, always in statuary position, are in dominant situation. They reign in carnal majesty. They carry the contemplation until the sharp edge of the infinite. 
The body of appearance is a false body, manufactured of all cultural parts, imposed and dogmatic. The Maruyanesque body is lived, vital and inhabited. It is a place of universal humanity. Body marked of sensual abstraction, and rich of warm vital thickness.
The body of appearance is ghost of eternity. The painted body of the painters is body of ultimate resistance, body of indispensable truth. The body of the depths does not have voice in the light chapter of appearances. 
The body, distinguished from the landscape, embodies a kind of symbolic rupture of the umbilical cord, the possibility of living without attachment, in the autonomy of a relation of existential control. This first separation supposes the capacity of reception of the intracorporeal otherness. The artist, as the dead pharaoh would engage himself for the eternity of his rebirth, recreate his body by the process of creation, as he recreates the carnal landscape of his dreamed life. 
The work of Rina Maruyana demonstrates the imperative need for pictorial stripping. And the gaze finally abandons itself to the essential.”

Christian Noorbergen, July 26, 2021
Art critic and lecturer