Nina Rupena

Nina Rupena is a Bosnian born project-based artist currently located in Melbourne. She works across mediums and practices using both visual art and design as tools for communicating ideas. Painting and drawing are her passion and she has a great interest in collaborative work. Since 2008, Nina worked on numerous collaborative projects with artists, designers, filmmakers, organisations and communities.

We wrap ourselves in cotton wool and try to iron, bleach and polish our emotions. We constantly try to predict the future and ignore the uncertain and fleeting nature of our existence. But isn’t the intensity of human experience what makes that very existence beautiful? Pain is intrinsic to the human experience. Without it something of our humanity, dignity and beauty of human life is trivialized. Life without experiencing pain breeds complacency, ignorance and passivity. Beauty is all around us I look for it in human experiences such as disability, old age, displacement and tragedy.

Nina is currently in residency at Hotel Penaga in Penang from February to April 2015. While in Penang, she started a project FACE IT:

“What do you wish you had known when you were younger? For the duration of my art residency I posed this question to the guests and staff at Hotel Penaga, trishaw drivers, backpackers, food vendors, people I met on the streets and bars. Then I drew their portraits, often on the spot or later from a photo. FACE IT is an ongoing project. The aim is to create a meaningful interaction and a space where people let their guards down and show their vulnerabilities.

Portraits and answers are uploaded daily at or follow on Facebook and Instagram. You can find out more about her and her work at her website.