After his childhood in Shanghai, Tyl von Randow's family settled in New Zealand where he completed his education and studied architecture. He practised as an architect in NZ and the UK and has received two design awards. He has performed in the theatre and on film and still finds time to sing, play music and paint. He lives close to the sea and surrounded by bush in the Waitakare Ranges on Auckland's West Coast. Although he has travelled widely, he has never returned to China.