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First Aya Takano exhibition in Monaco

The Japanese artist is exhibiting 21 selected paintings based on the Principality at the Pavilion Bosio for Monaco Project for the Arts.

Although she has already exhibited in France, it is the very first time that Aya Takano unveils her universe in the Principality. “This is the first time I have been to Monaco. I also like the sea,” says the Japanese artist with a smile. Until 30 August, the Bosio Pavilion hosts Synesthesia, a personal exhibition of 21 paintings, as part of the Monaco Project for the Arts. “We wanted to invite a woman and we had not yet hosted a Japanese artist,” explains Isabelle Lombardot, director of the Bosio Pavilion.

Murakami as a mentor

Aya Takano possesses the gift of synesthesia (where the stimulation of one sense leads to involuntary experiences in a second sense) “When I listen to sounds, I perceive colors,” – hence the name of the exhibition.  The inspiration for painting: “That can come through zen, yoga. I do not do it personally, but some use drugs. I do not draw my inspiration from daily life, I take the brush and I paint, quite simply.”

Science fiction and manga author, illustrator and painter, Aya Takano worked for Nintendo before becoming Takashi Murakami’s assistant, inventor of Superflat. “Thanks to him, I became an artist,” she recalls. Since 2001, she has been part of Kaikai Kiki, an artistic production studio founded by Murakami. “It’s a universe where comics meet paintings,” adds Lombardot.

Aya Takano
Aya Takano. Source:

Besides characters with disturbing human shapes and skin that seems to be made of rubber, her paintings use a lot of blue. “I did not know Monaco. So I looked at pictures on the internet to see what it looked like. I saw the sea, blue sky and nature. Monaco is a picture of relaxation. That’s how I chose to create the paintings here,” says Aya Takano.

The visitor goes from work to work, from world to world. Our world is too “solid”, says the 40-year-old Japanese artist. “I do not like this civilization. Take the example of cars, they are solid but that does not prevent accidents and the fact that they break. I prefer ‘unctuous’ aspects,” says Aya Takano, taking one of her paintings as an example. “It is a bit of heaven and hell. But depending on the angle, paradise can be hell, and vice versa.”

Exhibition runs until 30 August at the Bosio Pavilion. Free admission every day from 1pm to 7pm.

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