Aya TAKANO
Let's make the universe a better place
solo show
September 18
- October 23, 2020
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Seoul
1F 5 Palpan-gil, Jongno-gu







Perrotin Seoul is pleased to present new works by Aya Takano this fall. Comprising sixteen drawings and ten works on canvas, Let’s make the universe a better place explores new themes and approaches in her practice.


페로탕 서울은 타카노 아야(タカノ綾, Aya Takano/ b.1976)를 가을에 선보인다. 드로잉 16점과 캔버스 10점으로 구성된 이번 전시 《Let’s make the universe a better place》(서울, 2020)는 타카노의 기존 작업 세계와는 사뭇 다른 주제와 태도를 보여준다.


©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
moment, 2020
162 × 130 cm | 63 3/4 × 51 3/16 inch
Oil on canvas
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin

Takano has been creating figures akin to anime characters to compose science-fictional or mythologically peculiar scenes from her imaginary world. The artist, standing amidst shifts in Japanese contemporary painting—which is deeply affected by anime both in mainstream culture and subculture—has shown a tendency to take inspiration and subject matter from classical literature, mythology, and legends.


타카노는 애니메이션 캐릭터의 유사 대상을 창조하여 자신이 만들어 놓은 상상 속 세계 안에서 공상과학 혹은 신화적으로 묘(妙)한 화면을 구현해왔다. 주류와 서브컬처를 포함하는 애니메이션 장르에서 영향을 받은 동시대 일본 회화의 흐름에 서 있는 그는 고전 문학, 신화, 전설 등에서 차용하는 경향을 보여왔다.


Aya TAKANO
encountered, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin

The series of new work on view at Perrotin Seoul is inspired by the artist’s visit to girls’ schools in Korea, the resistance against restricted individuality, and the artist’s imagined utopia of pure happiness. In these works, Takano identifies herself with the schoolgirls in uniform—under strict rules and conformity, homogeneous thoughts and beliefs are encouraged.


서울에서 보여주게 될 신작들은 작가가 방문했던 한국 여학교들과 억압된 개인의 자율성에 대한 저항, 그리고 순수한 행복을 향한 이상으로 구축한 작가만의 유토피아를 기반으로 제작되었다. 타카노는 엄격한 규칙과 순응으로 생겨나는 동질적 사상이나 믿음 아래, 오랜 교복 문화에 속한 여학생들을 작가 자신의 신원으로 동일시해 본다.


©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
Shibuya sprint, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin

The works in Let’s make the universe a better place focus on the underlying possibilities of constructing an identity developed in girls’ schools. Rather than fatigue and helplessness, the works reveal Takano’s perspective on minor mythologies and the utopian world of personal happiness, identity, and independence. Instead of focusing on the hardships of womanhood, such as alienation from society, Takano’s work expresses the small yet important personal experiences making up one’s identity and one’s idea of self.


타카노의 신작은 개인의 행복과 정체성, 독립적인 존재에 대한 작은 신화와 유토피아의 세계를 피로감과 무력감의 시선이 아닌, 여학교에서 발현되는 정체성의 가능성들에 주목한다. 그의 작업은 여성의 소외에 대한 강요 등의 부정적인 면모보다 ‘나’를 구성하고 정체성이 다듬어지는 개인의 사소한 경험들을 드러낸다.


Aya TAKANO
we are waiting in the future, 2020
25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch (unframed)
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin

Presented in Takano’s unique style, the girls in her work exhibit an androgynous facet that prevails at the age of learning, which would later define femininity or gender roles. Instead of being confined by regulations as their personal and societal relationships break apart, the characters are actualized within fragments of a narrative of joyful, innocent encounters of friendship, desire, deviation, and equality.


작업에 등장하는 소녀들은 규정된 여성 다움 혹은 성 역할의 정체감을 학습하는 시기에 존재하는 양성성이 갖고 있는 모호한 지점이 캐릭터의 스타일로 등장한다. 이들의 모습은 제도의 틀 안에서 만들어지는 규범에 의해 끊어지는 개인적인 관계들과 사회로부터 배제되고 가정에서 유폐되는 한 사람이 아닌, 우정, 욕망, 일탈, 평등이라는 관계에 얽힌 익살스럽고 순수한 개인에 관한 단편적인 서사 속에 구현된다.


©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
See you in the future, 2020
91 × 72.7 cm | 35 13/16 × 28 5/8 inch
Oil on canvas
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin

This new series of work is a departure from the artist’s interest in mythological and geographical points of view, turning instead to emotional and interpersonal relationships. It is a compilation of narratives amidst pathways leading to the present, past, and future in Takano’s oeuvre. In this exhibition, Takano’s paintings create a single universe where human beings and nature, the self and the other, coexist. Her continuous effort to connect internality with externality and vice versa goes beyond the defined identities of gender, forging a path toward a futuristic world where humanity as a whole are equal.


이번 신작에 대한 변화는 타카노의 회화에 중심을 차지했던 신화적, 지리적 관심에서 잠시 비껴가 정서적, 관계적 관점과 동시에, 기존 작업에서 흔히 볼 수 있었던 현재와 과거, 그리고 미래로 나아가는 포털의 중간 지점에 대한 이야기들의 단편들로 이어진다. 자연-인간, 자아-타인이 하나의 세계에 공존하게끔 안에서 밖으로, 밖에서 안으로 연결시키는 작가의 의지는 여성과 남성이라는 규정된 개별 정체성 너머에 생태, 나아가, 인류의 동등한 구조에 대한 미래지향적인 세계관으로 귀결된다.


Aya TAKANO
deep-connecting with artificial network, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
time was fast forwarded, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 17.5 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 6 7/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
in Shibuya… yes, it is, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO

Born in 1976 in Saitama, Japan
Lives and works in Japan

Painter, illustrator, sci-fi writer and manga artist, Aya Takano belongs to Kaikai Kiki, the artistic production studio created in 2001 by Takashi Murakami. Inspired by all art forms, from erotic stamps of the Edo Period to impressionism, from Osamu Tezuka to Gustav Klimt, the artist has built a universe all her own. A universe made of infinite worlds, all means of escaping reality, gravity and its restraints, to attain a certain form of transcendence.

Aya Takano’s inner journeys wind their way into delicate works that convey a disturbing impression, somewhere between eroticism and impertinence. In a bedroom or in the metro, in front of the skyscrapers of a megalopolis or on the moon, naïve and androgynous girls are sketched out in thin, sharp lines. The artist’s mythology has constructed itself little by little, through her creations and visions of the unknown. In March 2011, a violent tsunami struck the northeastern coasts of Japan and led to the nuclear accident of Fukushima. A real wake-up call for the artist, this catastrophe deeply influenced her work. Preferring oil paint, which is more natural, to acrylic paint, for example, Aya Takano seems to pursue a new artistic quest, both humble and spiritual, influenced by a unique interest in science and guided by an absolute respect for nature and human life.

More about the artist
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List of artworks
FLOOR 1
Aya TAKANO
let’s go, to the battle, 2020
162 × 130 cm | 63 3/4 × 51 3/16 inch
Oil on canvas
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
moment, 2020
162 × 130 cm | 63 3/4 × 51 3/16 inch
Oil on canvas
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
moment, raining, soft serve, 2020
162 × 130 cm | 63 3/4 × 51 3/16 inch
Oil on canvas
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
flowers, enraptured, cat, 2020
72.7 × 91 cm | 28 5/8 × 35 13/16 inch
Oil on canvas
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
everything is possible, 2020
80 × 100 cm | 31 1/2 × 39 3/8 inch
Oil on canvas
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
we went to go-kart, ate curry, 2020
100 × 80 cm | 39 3/8 × 31 1/2 inch
Oil on canvas
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
hello friend, cheer up, 2020
91 × 116.7 cm | 35 13/16 × 45 15/16 inch
Oil on canvas
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
doki doki donpen♡, 2020
97 × 130 cm | 38 3/16 × 51 3/16 inch
Oil on canvas
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
don’t tell us what to do, 2020
91 × 116.7 cm | 35 13/16 × 45 15/16 inch
Oil on canvas
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
FLOOR 3
Aya TAKANO
we sniff glue, then we share the same hallucination (but don’t try, it’s dangerous), 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
china town sprint, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
revelation, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
connecting with artificial network intelligence, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
in Shibuya… yes, it is, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
using artificial network power, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
she came while collecting the power of fortuity, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
encountered, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
time was fast forwarded, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 17.5 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 6 7/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
deep-connecting with artificial network, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
deep-connecting with nature network, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
Shibuya sprint, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
she’s coming, riding the Kaminari-mon lantern, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
she’s waiting, on the top of Flamme d'or, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
future daily morning routine, 2020
unframed : 25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch
framed : 33.8 × 25.7 × 3.8 cm | 13 5/16 × 10 1/8 × 1 1/2 inch
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
we are waiting in the future, 2020
25 × 17.5 cm | 9 13/16 × 6 7/8 inch (unframed)
Watercolor and pen on paper
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin
Aya TAKANO
See you in the future, 2020
91 × 72.7 cm | 35 13/16 × 28 5/8 inch
Oil on canvas
©︎2020 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Perrotin