7th – 9th May 2017

Tina Takako


  • Tina Takako comes from an artistic family with deep roots in the ancient island kingdom of Okinawa, in the very south of Japan. Her doctor father was a keen amateur painter, her mother a renowned teacher of ikebana and calligraphy, and her elder sister is a successful artist who has won a number of national awards in Japan. But Tina was determined to forge her own path. Rebelling against the strict patriarchal atmosphere of a traditional Japanese home, at the age of 20 she ran away to Tokyo where she supported herself while studying French in the evenings at the prestigious Athene Français and painting with the artist Taka Yamaguchi at his Tokyo studio at weekends.


  • Together with her husband Simon, a British translator and interpreter she met in Tokyo, she eventually left Japan in 1986 to travel through China and the US on an intensive 8month trip to explore the roots of their shared East-West culture, an experience that remains an inspiration in her work. The couple then settled in London, and over the next two decades Tina enthusiastically applied her artistic talent to creating eclectic and inspiring interiors for the homes where they raised their two children – a practical skill she went on to refine through a study program at the KLC School of Design in Chelsea.


  • Her work as a painter reflects her eclectic choices as a designer, drawing its inspiration from a fascination with faces and the elements common to human expression in all cultures and ages. She particularly likes to re-imagine iconic images in new settings, challenging conventional assumptions by placing classical portraits against vibrant new backgrounds and famous subjects in unexpectedly abstract environments that subtly alter the way we look at them. Her subjects are diverse yet personal, figurative yet abstract, familiar identities given new life in contexts that avoid the landscape of cliché.


Open daily 10am-5pm

Entry free