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‘La Maison d’Aya’ [which translates to ‘House of Aya’] was a pop up exhibition at Bibo, a French restaurant in Hong Kong organised by Hong Kong Contemporary Art (HOCA) Foundation. The exhibition included drawings and paintings from the last decade of the Takano’s work, including well-known pieces ‘Hoshiko the City Child’ , Land of Sodom and Gomora , and rising, Floating Energy and Flower . In addition, the artist created a site-specific installation at Bibo, as well as a number of new pieces developed specifically for the exhibition. The catalogue features installation shots of the exhibition along with an essay by Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva
About Aya Takano
Aya Takano [Japanese, b. 1976], is a star of the Japanese contemporary art world and the leading female member of Takashi Murakami’s coined Superflat movement, an anime-inspired style of art, which combines the flat aesthetic of commercial design with the sexualized characters of Japanese manga and anime.
Takano’s dream-like works incorporate recollections from her childhood, collective memories from Japanese events, references to science fiction novels and movies, and elements of comics and cartoons. Seeking to examine otaku culture (a term that refers to a Japanese subculture of fandom commonly with anime and manga) through a feminine perspective, Takano depicts the role of the female heroine in future society.
The subjects in her works (often nude, childlike, androgynous figures) exemplify the fleeting nature of childhood and the infantilization of women in Japanese otaku culture. Takano’s treatment of the female body emphasizes the subjects’ distance from physical adulthood, depicting them more as spiritual beings representing presence over physicality.
Through her subjects, Takano creates a playful and ambiguous vision of the future, a vision that was deeply affected by the earthquake and tsunami that shook Japan in March 2011. Over the past three years Takano’s work has shifted to be more spiritual in nature, the act of painting becoming more of a prayer or meditation. Her newest works maintain the light-hearted optimism of youth, but her figures seem more aware of their relationship to nature and their surrounding environment.