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Interview to Rina Ota, resident artist of La Escocesa

Written by Adriana

Describing an artist is always very difficult, it is always best to let their work speak for itself and let the people decide. So, ShBarcelona invites you to know more about her multidisciplinary creations on her website or directly in the creation center La Escocesa, where this half Japanese-half Peruvian girl, exposed her “Symphony No. 345”.

What is your career, tell us who is Rina Ota?

I am Japanese, artist and actress. About 15 years ago I first came to Spain. First lived almost half a year in a town of Andalusia to learn Castilian and then came to Barcelona. When I arrive in Barcelona I was willing to try anything that interests me, so I immediately started the sculpture course to learn the basics and then on the weekends I went to La Rambla to sell handmade postcards. Later, I started painting watercolors in the street. Since then, I keep going.

After finishing the course, I got a shared space with other artists with experience and there I kept practicing on my own. Then I changed 4 or 5 times from place to place, so other companions were always giving me good influences. At that time I had the great chance to get involved in a Spanish pop music band as a singer and keyboardist. For about five years I kept playing in this band.

Due to this experience of performing in front of people I realized that what attracts me is “expressing myself” and since then started looking for something else to do besides the sculpture. Then by that idea, I started doing performances. I also started working as an actress. These new experiences have made me feel like sharing with the audience is essential for me. That idea has influenced me for my art too.

Now I think that “art” is a way to communicate with people. My desire is to create positive stimuli between people and me.

How did you land in Barcelona, Poblenou and La Escocesa? How do you like your stay in this creation center and how long are you staying?

After half an year living in Andalusia, I visited the biggest cities in Spain to find a place to live. When I got to Barcelona by train and left the Estación de Francia to the street, I fell in love with the view and the air I could feel. Then I decided to live here.

To get to Poblenou, it took me quite a while. I have moved 8 times and each time I’ve gone away over the city center. Downtown is nice to visit but to live I prefer less tourism around… I also feel good living near the sea.

I first met La Escocesa about 4 years ago through people who had a space at this location. At that time I was starting to have a serious need to find a bigger place to work. I first visited La Escocesa when they organized a guided tour over there, I was attracted to the large space and the free atmosphere. Two and a half years ago when I heard the call for new artists, I applied for a place and luckily I was selected.

My time here is very slow but I’m doing things I could not do before because of lack of space. This place gives me a lot of freedom to work. But at the same time I know it’s not a place forever, I need to change it from time to time and I’d rather not settle here too. Right now I have my exhibition at La Escocesa, I take it as the end of a period of time. Then I will keep looking for another site to create another time for me.

What artistic disciplines you feel the most comfortable?

I could not decide. To me they are all ways of expressing myself. But I feel more comfortable working with volume and space (I mean, art installations).

Would you say that your origins affected your work?

17323_10200857264024721_975235483_nAlthough I was born in Lima, I lived there for only 1 year and a half. So I don’t remember living in Perú but during my childhood I have had the impression that I had different origins. I think the indigenous culture attracted me for that reason and have influenced me in a way. And of Japanese culture, the truth is that I don’t notice it but people say that it does. It must be something that I was absorbing gradually without noticing. I never intended to emphasize my culture, I was only looking for a more universal art…

What artists do you consider your influences?

It’s a secret … 🙂

Can you recommend us 3 art spaces in Barcelona?

La Escocesa! Also Mitte Barcelona and the Miró Foundation.

And finally, what are your future projects?

Travelling a lot!

About the author



Adriana is a writer, content & community manager, web designer, media analyst and tireless traveler.

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