About Risa Puno
Risa Puno is a sculpture and installation artist who uses interactivity and play to understand how we relate to one another. Often taking a whimsical form, Puno’s work creates accessible spaces to explore universal human conundrums. Emblematic of Puno’s practice is her 2013-2014 work The Course of Emotions: A Mini-Golf Experience, a fully-functioning course with 9 holes featuring different emotional obstacles like “Insecurity,” where players had to putt while standing on a wobbly seesaw platform. In keeping with Puno’s body of work, the project transformed a lighthearted, widely appealing pastime into a means of collectively confronting difficult human experiences. In her 2018 piece, Year of the Dog for Boston’s Chinatown Park, visitors were invited to interact with the piece, constructing new meanings and stories based on the characters that appear. Featuring a series of blocks engraved with traditional Chinese characters and excerpts of stories collected from the community, the act of spinning the block created poetic connections that would otherwise be impossible to describe in the English language.
Puno has exhibited at national and international venues, including: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, El Museo del Barrio, NURTUREart, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, SPACES in Cleveland, OH, Galerie Stefan Röpke in Cologne, Germany, and MMX Open Art Venue in Berlin, Germany. Puno is the recipient of multiple awards and residencies, including the UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant through the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. Puno’s work has been featured across radio and print, including NPR, Forbes, The New Yorker, Hyperallergic, ProPublica, and The Boston Globe. Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Puno studied art and medicine at Brown University and earned her MFA from New York University.
Photograph by Talisman Brolin, of TalismanPHOTO.