Monaco welcomes yet another original artist to exhibit their work in the Principality over summer; the first personal exhibition of Japanese artist Aya Takano, entitled Synesthesia, is open to the public till August 30th. The show features 21 artworks that reveal the artist’s obsessions and personal perception of the universe. HelloMonaco gives you some interesting insight into this new and unique exhibition, open everyday from 1 to 7 pm on the prestigious setting of the Rocher.
This exhibition is presented by the Monaco Project for the Arts, a non-profit association placed under the high patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, whose aim is to promote cultural, artistic and educational activities in the Principality. Every summer MPA organises an exhibition in the École Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques premises titled The Project, which has now become a major and established appointment within the European art scene and the Principality’s cultural calendar.
This year’s guest is Aya Takano, a painter, illustrator, sci-fi writer and manga artist, and member of the Kaikai Kiki, an 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 personal universe of her own that residents and visitors of Monaco may experience. Takano commented on the thoughts behind her creations, “When I was a kid, I daydreamed and stayed in my fantasy land by reading books and manga’s all the time. I hated most device and building designs and still do”. She explains that she aspired to freedom of spirit and to be different from others, a characteristic that becomes apparent when admiring her work.
The exhibition is simplistic, offering an understated look into the artist’s universe; the pieces hold centre stage, colouring the otherwise blank space. “Synesthesia” is the idea behind this exhibition, when the stimulation of one sense leads to an involuntary awakening of a second sense, “a neurological phenomenon that connects our senses”; a concept that Takano strives to evoke in her viewers. For the artist, it is a way to embrace the entire world, including its mysteries and infinite possibilities, “a way to feel the taste and colour of music, or see the scenery in numbers”. Takano believes that what we normally perceive is a very limited part of an enormous amount of information, and hopes that “all of us can reach a fusion of senses, to a place beyond normal perception”.
Isabelle Lombardot, director of the Bosio Pavilion, summarised the collection: “It’s a universe where comics meet paintings”. It is unsurprising that Aya Takano used to work for Nintendo, as her collection is reminiscent of Japanese videogames, complete with imaginary landscapes, vibrant colour schemes, and manga-type subjects with exaggerated features. The universe portrayed through her paintings is made up of infinite worlds that escape reality and the restraints of gravity to attain a form of transcendence, one imagined by the artist since a very young age. Her work reflects her inner journeys, conveying both eroticism and impertinence. Amidst varying landscapes, naïve and androgynous girls are sketched out in thin, sharp lines; they have wide eyes, impossibly long legs and lips like rosebuds, as they float around interacting with other characters or animals, mostly misshaped but harmonious as a whole.
Aya Takano is building her own mythology, step by step, through her creations and visions of the unknown, with plural and ambiguous visions that might awaken more than just one of your senses.