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Mai Ryuno

Mai Ryuno, Socially Engaged Artist

Everyday Artist

Mai Ryuno is an interdisciplinary artist and educator from Fukuoka, Japan, raised by a mother with a keen eye for design and a socially conscious father, currently based on the Monterey Peninsula in California. Her process oriented art practice combines site-specific installation and participatory performance where she creates the situation where the audience gathers, acts, and shares themselves with each other. Inspired by everyday life activities such as cooking, eating, meeting, and greeting, Ryuno’s work inspires the audience to take collective action to create positive human interactions, learn from each other, and build a temporary community with respect and care. Creating a sense of freedom, openness and hopefulness is vital for the shared experience where the participants are encouraged to discover their own creative voice and act on their self expression without judgment.


After receiving a BA in English from Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, Ryuno moved to the United States with a dream of becoming an artist and earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her experience of living and working in Tohoku, Japan, after the devastating earthquake, tsunami, and explosions of nuclear power plants in 2011 reminded her of the importance of human relationships and communities with close networks for survival, resilience, and sustainability in the time of danger and emergency. Ryuno has performed at The Lab, Southern Exposure and other art galleries in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Monterey Museum of Art and Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History in California as well as art and non-art venues in Japan. Her engagement in creative community-building has also been done through her teaching and collaboration with Center for Cities + Schools at UC Berkeley, Association of California School Administrators, MIIS Immigrant Rights Alliance at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and Tohoku School by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.


Participatory & Experiential Art

- Earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and practiced performance and installation art in the SF Bay Area

Public Education

- Worked as Assistant Director and Instructor: Young Artists, PreCollege and Adult Continuing Education Programs as well as Arts Education in underrepresented communities


Teaching Art, Design, Creativity for Community

- CA Community Colleges

- Center for Cities + Schools at UC Berkeley (Youth Civic Engagement & Leadership)

- Association of CA School Administrators

- Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey

-  New educational initiatives for recovery from 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Play Full Ground.heic


Social Practice Art & Entrepreneurship

- Created Play Full Ground as a participatory art exhibit and community event, which became a socially engaged art studio in Monterey, CA

- Facilitated 50+ workshops

- Hosted 20+ community events

- Artist Talks & Public Presentations

- Collaboration with museums, colleges, non profit, and community organizations

- Use performance art as social action

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