I recently stumbled across a set of major arcana tarot cards by Japanese artist Aya Takano and immediately added them to my collection. Part of the Superflat movement, Takano’s work is done in an intentionally juvenile style, while still addressing the prevalence of sexuality and consumerism in post-war Japan. Takano has been on my radar for a long time, but I had no idea she had released a set of tarot cards until recently. Below are some images of the cards and my thoughts on the deck; a gallery can be found at the bottom of the post.
Above, clockwise from left is The Fool, the card back, Fortune, The Hanged Man, and The Magician. Takano uses reddened joints that appear as sunburns to indicate that the figure is still growing. Her subjects are usually nude or only partially clothed, which creates an intentional juxtaposition of innocence and sexuality. The back of the cards are bright pink and feature flowers, peacocks, rabbits, planets, and what appear to be eggs. All of these make me think of Hera, but I am sure I’m just reading way too much into the card back.
Indie tarot and oracle decks are having a renaissance at the moment, allowing new interpretations of classic cards to crop up in such variety that it seems impossible not to find one that strikes your fancy. The most recent to cross my path is the Mystic Mondays Tarot by Grace Duong, which is on Kickstarter until June 30, 2017.
This version of the tarot deck is focused on reinterpreting the cards, favoring intuitive readings that are still based on the Rider Waite tarot. From the Kickstarter: “Since the Mystic Mondays deck is based on the Rider Waite, it maintains the integrity of the meanings, while keeping the illustrations simple to get to the heart of the matter.” It’s worth noting that the image she shows as an example is the Quick and Easy Tarot that is illustrated using the Universal Waite. Duong explains that her own experience with tarot fell a little flat because of the way the meanings were written, and I completely agree, as I am not a fan of the Quick and Easy Tarot either.