"My childhood dream has guided me to create something different with my life."
Bali has become Tomomi Takahashi's favorite place. After visiting Bali several times on vacation, she decided to move there in 2004. "Balinese people are friendly and always smile – that made it easy for me to get close to them. Also, they have a strong religion and great interest in art and culture," she explains.
Tomomi speaks Bahasa Indonesia fluently. She lived in Vietnam for almost six months and worked in an interior décor shop before moving to Bali. There she was introduced to furniture and handicrafts from different places such as Africa, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Tomomi was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1975. She graduated from a Tokyo university with a major in art and design. "My childhood dream has guided me to create something different with my life," Tomomi says. Together with a Balinese friend, she designs and creates accessories made mostly of cow and goat leather, and also of cow bone. "A wild and fashionable idea," the artist notes.
Through her designs, Tomomi perpetuates Balinese tradition and empowers women though training and providing jobs in a community environment.