Urmaza spent most of her childhood in her grandfather’s ancestral home, which had musty rooms filled with old books and encyclopedias that have been damaged by floods, humidity and time. She used to collect found objects from that old house—a childhood hobby that still greatly influences her work. She deconstructs books that have been weathered with age, hunts for vintage photographs and tintype portraits, and other ephemera such as old letters or game pieces. She carefully selects each object and researches about them, positioning them with much deliberation, every detail in place for reasons above pure aesthetics. Urmaza’s background in photography and film making has given her a very specific sense of composition, imbuing the collages with multiple meanings and allowing for individual responses based on the viewers’ own memories and fantasies.
Urmaza completed her BFA in Communication Arts at DLSU. She then became a filmmaker and worked on Bayaning Third World with Mike De Leon before migrating to the US. She studied at the International Center of Photography in NY and the Art Students League in NY. She has exhibited in Hong Kong, Paris, New York and Manila. Urmaza currently lives and works in New York.