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Nomads, Who Are Excellent in Battle

Nomads, Who Are Excellent in Battle
acrylic on canvas
259 x 194 cm. (102 x 76 3/8 in.)
Painted in 2005
Emmanule Perrotin Gallery, Paris, France
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Perrotin Gallery, Aya Takano, Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd, Tokyo, Japan & New York, USA, 2009 (illustrated, p. 64).

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Lot Essay

In Nomads, Who Are Excellent in Battle (Lot 512), a young female charges into battle, bow in hand, on a flying sheep through a magical cloudscape as arrows zip past her. She is almost completely and unabashedly nude, donning a flimsy sash and a sheer skirt. Despite her injuries, the heroine proceeds unflinchingly with an arrow pierced in one arm as she effortlessly bandages the other using her mouth. A smaller sheep, her sidekick or familiar, humorously and precariously balances on the end of her bow as it cheers her on.

Aya Takano's archetypal heroine is slim and androgynous, suspended in that critical period between girlhood and womanhood. It is apt then that her choice of weapon is a bow and arrow, recalling Artemis, the Greek goddess of virginity and childbirth, protector of wild animals and young girls. The redness in the girl's face and limbs emanates a warm sensuality. It also reveals that she is of flesh and blood, that she is susceptible to ordinary human afflictions. However, our heroine's choice of stead and attire undermines any serious, imminent threat in this fictitious war. This large painting hence becomes a celebration of the outlandish imagination and the heedlessness of youth - a youth that is strong and optimistic but still vulnerable.

Takano is a leading artist of Takashi Murakami's Superflat Movement - a postmodern art movement that draws primarily from Japanese manga and anime. A manga artist, illustrator, and science fiction essayist in her own right, Takano creates many fantastical worlds beyond the canvas

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