In her visual musings of extraordinary imaginary capacity, Japanese female artist Aya Takano seeks to reinvent the otaku (geek) culture through a feminine perspective. The frail, pre-pubescent heroines in her fantastical creations often appear in her alternate realities partially clothed or fully nude. Their large eyes, oversized heads and frail bodies, as well as the extremities of the body painted in pink, collectively emphasize their temporary suspension from adulthood and sensitivity to touch.
Eye Tattoo Patch Me! (Lot 1418) takes a playful, ambiguous vision that revolves around the feminine perspective, serving as Takano's unflinching, personal expression of sexuality and the idea of a 'female gaze.' The collapsed spatial planes create an indeterminate positioning of the figure that seem to alludes to themes of self-realization, exploration and mystery that defines modern shojo manga (young girl comic) romance narratives. In Japanese manga and anime critic Eri Izawa's words, romance symbolizes "the emotional, the grand, the epic; the taste of heroism, fantastic adventure, and the melancholy; passionate love, personal struggle, and eternal longing" set into imaginative, individualistic and passionate narrative frameworks. Takano's images similarly establish escapist environments that liberate questions of self-existence and issues of coming of age from the gravity of social constraints, and propose imagination as a means of release and freedom from the complexities of the contemporary world.