Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2023 Spring Auctions > Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Aya Takano (b.1976)
Sweetness in the Dark(Painted in 2009)

Acrylic on canvas

145.5 × 145.5cm. 57 1/4 × 57 1/4 in.

Signed in English and dated on the reverse of the stretcher

2009, Aya Takano, Galerie Perrotin and Kaikai Kiki, Paris and Tokyo, p.138
5 Nov – 12 Dec 2009, Aya Takano: Reintegrating Worlds, Skarstedt Gallery, New York

Skarstedt Gallery, New York
Private Collection, New York
Important Private Collection, Asia

The Reunion of Parallel Time and Space
The Magnum Opus from Aya Takano's New York Solo Exhibition: Sweetness in the Dark

Aya Takano, born in Tokyo in 1976, is one of the most important representatives of contemporary Japanese super-flat art, using visual techniques to construct her subconsciousness, making her works a reflection of her inner world.

With the bursting of the Japanese asset price bubble after the 1970s, the Otaku culture gradually took shape in society, and the artists used cute and flat visual expressions to conceal unsettling escapist emotions. As a student at Tokyo's Tama Art University, Takano worked as Takashi Murakami's assistant when his super-flat aesthetics became prevalent. Her feminine power apeared in her fictional creations was highly appreciated by Murakami, who recruited her into his Kaikai Kiki Gallery in 1997. Since then, Takano has been able to express her unconventional and idiosyncratic artistic visions. Sweetness in the Dark was created in 2009 and exhibited in a solo exhibition at the Skarstedt Gallery in New York the same year.

The Beauty of a Peachy Life

In the dark background, a young girl leans on the floating clouds. Although she is half naked, her facial expression is innocent, which is a state beyond the mundane. The artist depicts a moon in the shape of a honeydew melon, and the girl is surrounded by cherry shapes in white and pink colours, conveying youthful and sweet atmosphere. The geeks and video games, which count for typical Otaku elements, are like decorations in the girl's hair, which became the most attractive part. While the other young boy sailing in the sea contrasts with the life of geeks, seemingly to be the artist's deeper reflection of Otaku culture.

A Special Diamond-shaped Composition: Girl Riding in a Time Machine

It is worth mentioning that the vision of a girl soaring in the clouds is a style of Marc Chagall, a surrealism artist. In here, Takano blends reality and illusion in the composition of colours, making the works exude a poetic and innocence energy. The artist deliberately uses a diamond-shaped composition here, presenting a vision beyond reality, and constructs a parallel world that is infinite and independent of where we are.

Like her paintings, Aya Takano is sensitive and rich in emotions, full of poetic yearning for life. Sweetness in the Dark depicts a world where the floating maidens, animals and fruits gather after everything has fallen asleep. They soar above the clouds, inviting the viewers to reach out and feel, and then a vivid dream will come alive around us.

Price estimate:
HKD: 300,000 – 400,000
USD: 38,200 – 51,000

Auction Result:
HKD: 420,000



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