Sexual overtones aside, Aya Takano's use of diluted gouache and acrylic paint as principal medium reinforces the sensual simplicity of her images which combine the fragility of a child's drawing and the virtuosity of the remarkable drawer she is. Neatly stylized pastels make way for fleshy peach tones, cherry pursed lips, and almond glazed eyes. As an artist associated with Takashi Murakami's coined term Superflat, and artist factory group KaiKai Kiki, Takano's work is the exemplification of Japan's post-war cultural affluence, and its overwhelmingly diverse, yet aesthetic unification of old and new. Her work finds inspiration in the ukiyo-e and shunga Japanese erotic art traditions. Both genres of Japanese painting and prints have influenced the development of modern manga greatly, and can clearly be seen in Takano's The Vegetarian with the Fascinating Shape (Lot 1046). During the Edo period, shunga depictions left the story format and began to be presented as unrelated erotic scenes. Production of ukiyo-e, or "pictures of the floating world" depicting buoyant, fleeting pleasures of the common people included suggestive metaphors such as long eggplants or mushrooms. The kimono motif is prevalent, with bound beehive hair stained a deep indigo violet shade, elegantly reflecting the current Japanese transliteration of the Lolita complex, called Lolicon. Takano's inspirations vary from Italian renaissance, to outer-space futuristic worlds, with a dichotomy reminiscent of shapes only dreams can take. Beautiful, subdued and inspired, Takano invites the viewer into a poetic underworld of Japanese doe-eyed beauties traversing our thoughts and unspoken feelings. Notably in The Vegetarian with the Fascinating Shape, Aya Takano is embraced for her free flowing imagination and endearing world, where fantasy meets reality. Paints seep into one another, in a watery world where the distinction between innocence and youth are blurred.