Alisa Tanaka-King is a Japanese-Australian artist, whose practice focuses on sustainability, community and the handmade. Her arts practice is an experimental exploration combining installation and the drawn line, performance, storytelling and food, and is underpinned by a strong foundation in traditional techniques and skills. Her work is often conceptual and explores the audience experience by creating immersive and interactive spaces.

Alisa is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne) having completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (printmaking) and Graduate Diploma of Performance Creation (animateuring).  

Alisa has travelled extensively, participating in residencies and research trips that have cemented her interest in a socially engaged practice, using art to better understand, communicate and document global issues. 


This has resulted in an exploration into artistic documentation and archiving practices, taking the core principles of illustration, and adapting and reimagining them in a contemporary and conceptual manner. 


Her multidisciplinary practice continues to illustrate, document and instigate conversation around pressing global issues including climate change, globalisation, and human rights. 

Aside from her solo practice, Alisa coordinates the Community Arts Program at Ballarat Community Health in Victoria. Here Alisa curates and runs art education programs, and creative support groups.

Alisa also works as a freelance illustrator for commercial projects. You can find her work on brochures, greeting cards, fabric prints, children's books and in office spaces. 

The Bird Girls 2017
The Bird Girls 2017

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F.O.C.U.S 2017
F.O.C.U.S 2017

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Autumn Twilight 2012
Autumn Twilight 2012

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The Bird Girls 2017
The Bird Girls 2017

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Coming soon:

F.O.C.U.S, Creswick Spring Festival November 2021

Recent Credits Include:

F.O.C.U.S, Theatre Works - April 2021


F.O.C.U.S, Bus Projects - April 2021

Fenton's Feast Podcast, Bus Projects and Yarra City Council - July 2020


Quasi-Nature, Archive Collective (Montreal) - September 2019


The Wild Within, Guest Project at Sunbury House, London - July 2018

The Bird Girls, Hamer Hall, Melbourne - November 2017


International Emerging Artists Awards Show, TAG BXL Gallery, Brussels - May 2016


Journey Through Landscapes, Hawthorn Studio & Gallery, Melbourne -  August 2015


International Art Olympia Finalists Exhibition,  Tokyo - June 2015

Recent Projects & Commentary

Future Origins of Community & Universal Sustainability (F.O.C.U.S)

F.O.C.U.S is a conceptual art project that takes place all over the world, inviting people to share in a dining and conversation experience that embodies social creative practice and sustainability. Local and seasonal ingredients are showcased, with great importance placed on balance and dining experience. Part performance, part installation, part storytelling, F.O.C.U.S highlights the importance of community and its role in environmental and emotional sustainability. 


“A multi sensorial journey that made me reflect on the remote environment I was living. Each meal revealed the intersections between stories, people and natural elements of the location. It felt as a once in a life time happening, where strangers found each other in a remote place to share a relatable story.”


“The dinner was a platform where I felt free -- through thoughtful and unobtrusive guidance from the artist -- to share observations, experiences and thoughts. It was a surprise, a feast, a poem. The artist has inspired me with new understanding about performance and interaction.”


The Earth Issue: Manifesto p. 130-147 “Forming Creative Communities Around the Dinner Table”


The Bird Girls

The Bird Girls is a visual response to the shock and horror at the number of female deaths in Australia each year as a result of violent acts against women. In 2016, Alisa drew a faceless portrait for every woman killed by acts of violence in Australia. The 74 portraits were exhibited at Hamer Hall in Melbourne, and launched the 16 Days of Activism Victorian Government initiative in 2017. 



Curriculum Vitae



University of Melbourne Victorian College of the Arts

Postgraduate Diploma of Performance Creation (Animateuring) 2012


University of Melbourne Victorian College of the Arts

Bachelor of Fine Art (Printmaking) 2009



La Wayaka Current residency, Arctic and Desert 2017

International Emerging Artists Award, Gallery Show winner 2016

AARK Residency Finland July 2016

Australia Council for the Arts ArtStart Grant 2015/16

International Art Olympia 2015, First Round Winner

Arteles Freedom to Create Residency 2014

Awagami Paper making International Artists Program 2014

Melbourne Fringe Festival Outside Eye Program 2011

University of Melbourne National Scholarship 2007-2009


Past Exhibitions

Quasinature, Archive Collective (Montreal) September 2019

The Wild Within, La Wayaka Current, Sunbury House (London) 2018

The Bird Girls, Hamer Hall (Melbourne) November 2017

International Emerging Artists Award Exhibition, TAG BXL Gallery (Brussels) May 2016

Birds with Hats, Animals in Suits The French Institute Gallery (Fukuoka) 2016

Summer Exhibition Hawthorn Gallery and Studio (Melbourne) 2015/16

A Journey Through Landscapes Hawthorn Gallery and Studio (Melbourne) 2015

Art Olympia 2015 finalists exhibition Living National Treasure Museum (Tokyo) 2015

Deluge Divine Hawthorn Gallery and Studio (Melbourne) 2013

Common Ground Hawthorn Gallery and Studio (Melbourne) 2011

Stranger Places Brunswick Street Galleries (Melbourne) 2011

Works on Paper Hawthorn Gallery and Studio (Melbourne) 2010

VCA Graduate Exhibition Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne) 2009


Past Productions

The Wild Within, La Wayaka Current, Sunbury House (London)2018

The Common Kitchen, King St Studio and Gallery (Lancaster) 2018

24hr Ballarat Experience, Ballarat Ballarat Community Health (Ballarat) 2015

Exquisite Lands at The Metanoia Live Works Season The Mechanics Institute (Melbourne) 2015

Arteles Live Review: October  Arteles Creative Centre (Hämeenkyrö) 2014

Democratic Set: Lucas Ballarat Community Health (Ballarat) 2014

Set Sail VCA Postgraduate Animateuring Showing (Melbourne) 2012



Community Arts Coordinator -Ballarat Community Health  2013-current

Key artist & designer - MILKWEED 2014-current

Nillumbik Artists Open Studios Coordinator 2013 - 2015