For Christine Flint Sato, the key to understanding her adopted homeland has been through the world of sumi-e, a Chinese style of water-ink painting adopted in Japan in the 14th century.

But the Englishwoman, who has lived here for more than three decades, has gone well beyond the world of traditional sumi to create works clearly infused with her own ideas and techniques.

"My works aren't really traditional 'sumi-e' but 'sumi-works,' " Sato says.