Aya Takano is a science ficition writer, and perhaps that is best place to start looking at her artwork. Magical realism has always seemed to ber part of the best of Japanese writing and art, and the way Takano plays with multiple dimensions and a sense that the characters are more in tune with a dreamlike quality of the world around them. I think of Takano's characters of being aware and trying to balance themselves between our world and something that is more ethereal. 

For her newest solo show, beginning, liminal, ego, on view now at Perrotin, Hong Kong through July 24, 2021, she created a tribute to Hong Kong, taking her signature characters out of Japan and in and amongst the city's unique landscape. As the gallery notes, her characters are now in "Prince Edward’s Flower Market; sitting nonchalantly in a chaa chaan teng; or all wrapped up in a plastic raincoat as the monsoon rains wash over the territory." These capture that almost science fiction element to her works; I can't help but to think they have been transported to HK, rather than flew. 

The gallery notes that the characters seem to exist in a "liminal space that is neither entirely terrestrial nor completely imaginary." Takano is so gifted in this realm. Maybe that she is a writer, and used to creating a world for which we don't have a visual that it heightens the inverse: painting a universe for which you have no words but start to imagine it yourself. For her second prensentation at Perrotin, Hong Kong, Takano is moving us into new realms, expanding the possibilties of characters and story in fine art. In the histoy of Superflat and her connections to Takashi Murakami and Kaikai Kiki, Takano continues to share a universal message of life in complicated times, humankind that has gone throug hardships and continues to find its way. —Evan Pricco