Aya Takano: Thank You World, You Now Look A Little Bit Like A Wonderland

Thank You World, You Now Look A Little Bit Like A Wonderland is a solo exhibition by the Japanese Superflat artist Aya Takano, which showcases her latest work and continues the ever-enriching signifiers and exuberant landscapes from her previous series. Through the artist's reinterpretation, the joys of the countryside and the charm of the metropolis are revealed, like sprouting leaves that have endured a long and harsh winter. Beneath the layers of foliage, however, lies contemplation of reincarnation, animism, tradition, and spirituality, rooted in universal concerns, meandering and intertwined. In far-flung places, Mother Nature and ancient gods cast their eternal gaze upon the world of man.

At first glance, her paintings seem to visualize the ideals of otaku culture, which arose from a highly socialized, urbanized and modern environment. Their goal was to "frolic with the imaginary reality", thereby constructing a simulacrum theater through mirror images and meanings. Combining stereotyped depictions and deliberate arrangements of everyday life with fragments of historical records and resistance to social construction, the artist presents us with a series of Seken-banashi in the form of manga.

Her visual storytelling is rich in detail but never cluttered. Restoring order to disorder is part of the artist's repertoire. She stylized the manga vocabulary to concoct a sweet and dreamy mirage often attributed to teenage girls. These traits, although often thought of as innate qualities of teenage girls, were actually created and designed by the artist.

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