Koji Kinutani was born in the Prefecture of Nara, Japan in 1943.
He completed his studies at Tokyo’s University of Arts and Music in the oil painting department in 1968 where he studied painting under Ryohei Koiso and murals under Minao Shimamura. He became a member of the Independent Art Association.
He studied in Italy in 1971 at the Venice academy, practicing especially with fresco, studying both classical and contemporary techniques.
During his stay in Italy, he immediately catalyzed the attention of the cultural world so that he soon was offered the possibility of exhibiting his works at the Venice Museum of Modern Art, which then bought some of them.
This initial Italian show collected about forty works where the artist’s chosen theme was Italy, an often recurring theme in his work.
Kinutani became famous for applying classical fresco techniques to contemporary art, especially in the creation of large-scale murals. Geographical and cultural frontiers are demolished in his fantastical works.
Among the more recent happenings are: an imposing mural work for the Yokohama station in 2004; the 2003 “Apocalypse” exhibition at the Setagaya Art Museum, the 2001 prize from the Academy of Fine Arts in Japan; and the commission in 1997 to create the publicity posters for the Winter Olympics in Nagano.
His works are part of numerous public collections including the National Museum of Modern Art and Museum of Contemporary Art, both in Tokyo.