Borderless art

The fabulous Ayumi Takahashi chats to us about travel, happiness and the concept of “borderless art”.

I was born in China to an artistic family. My father was an industrial designer and painter, and later became a very influential educator in China, while my step mother is a theme park designer. I moved to Japan when I was 12 and got introduced to Japanese pop culture and art. I then came to America and got my BFA in Fine Arts at Art Center College of Design. I have also lived and studied in Thailand during high school, and took courses in Central Saint Martins for graphic design during college.


Edlyn (Noble lady) – “I, You, Me.” at Duplex Gallery. 18.0 inch x 24.0 inch, Acrylic Gouache on Wood, 2015.

I lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, now in Portland, and am moving to New York next month! I love cities filled with creativity and passion.


Anne (Favoured or Grace) – “I, You, Me.” at Duplex Gallery. 36.0 inch x 48.0 inch, Acrylic Gouache on Wood, 2015.

I am deeply in love with ancient Chinese and Japanese figurative paintings as well as contemporary art and fashion design. My work is less about perspective, light and shadow or other traditional techniques in art, it’s purely about a sense of mood, emotion and the subtle relationship between the moment and the viewer.


Blythe (Free Spirit) – “I, You, Me.” at Duplex Gallery. 11.0 inch x 14.0 inch, Acrylic Gouache on Wood, 2015.

I love the mixture of ancient and contemporary; the balance between child-like and concentrated sophistication. I also love delicate features and pattern making with bold colors and abstract shapes.


Shanghai – “Straight Outta Portland” at Stephanie Chefas Projects. 16.0 inch x 20.0 inch, Acrylic Gouache on Wood, 2016.

I travel a lot. I try to take at least one month off a year to go to places and get inspired. At the same time, I will learn the history, culture and art of those places. I believe that before you make art, you first need to go see the world. Being away from my studio gives me time and space to rethink and redevelop the kind of art I want to make.  Then after the trip, I plan different projects for myself – the “daily paintings’ project is one of them.


Lane (Narrow Road) – “I, You, Me.” at Duplex Gallery. 24.0 inch x 18.0 inch, Acrylic Gouache on Wood, 2015.

Because of my multicultural back ground, I am in love with history, language, culture and people. I believe that there are things only I can understand and express across these cultures. I want to make my art visually and conceptually “borderless” that speaks to people from different cultural background.


Edith (Rich Gift) – “I, You, Me.” at Duplex Gallery. 11.0 inch x 14.0 inch, Acrylic Gouache on Wood, 2015.

I think art is something alive. I want my characters in the painting to talk to the viewer; make them have a peaceful moment to rethink themselves, make them remember somebody they knew, and remind them of some special moments in their lives. I am ambitious about conveying positive messages to scale up the happiness in life. That’s why my work is usually joyful, child-like, with lots of calm moments and bright colors.

I want to hang onto the innocence inside of us as long as I can.


Milada (My Love) – “I, You, Me.” at Duplex Gallery. 11.0 inch x 14.0 inch, Acrylic Gouache on Wood, 2015.


Find some happiness on Ayumi’s website.

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