The sparkling and sweet demeanor of Japanese artist Hikari Shimoda’s child subjects is equally enchanting and disarming, and full of possibilities. Born and currently based in Nagano, Japan, but raised on Japanese animation and comics, Hikari herself is not unlike her characters, living on the edge between a place deeply rooted in its beliefs and traditions and an exciting, however uncertain, future. First featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 29, and also on our blog, her works in recent years have been deeply impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake, created from the perspective of a young artist living in the countryside, where social media and the books she reads are her main portal to the outside world.
Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles just announced that they are moving to a new space, and they are saying goodbye to their Circa gallery with one of their most popular group exhibitions, “Art Collector Start Kit 3”. Opening this Saturday, the exhibit (previously covered here) annually showcases smaller works from both well established and new names in the New Contemporary scene. This year’s show is no less eclectic and presents 12″ x 12″ sized pieces from Brandi Milne, Hannah Yata, Hikari Shimoda (HF Vol. 29), Hirabayashi Takahiro, KiSung Koh, Korin Faught, Lori Nelson, Lu Cong, Naoto Hattori (HF Vol. 7 and 35), Yoh Nagao, and Yoko d’Holbachie (HF Vol. 6 cover artist), among over 30 artists.
Hikari Shimoda contemplates the nature of good and evil throughout her body of work. Deceptively naive at a first glance, her brightly-colored paintings feature child characters grappling with the destruction of the world. Their physical scars and zombie-like eyes hint at the brutality they have witnessed. Shimoda’s latest solo show, which features new works as well as a retrospective, opens at Artcomplex Center of Tokyo on January 14 with a reception on January 17.
Though their styles differ, Hikari Shimoda (featured in HF Vol. 29) and Camilla D’Errico each use a fluorescent color palette and childlike, illustrative imagery to apprehend adult anxieties. The two artists teamed up for their two-person show “Niji Bambini” (which combines Japanese and Italian, the artists’ native tongues, to translate to “Rainbow Children”), opening at Brooklyn’s Cotton Candy Machine on October 10.
Eerily cheery and cheerily eerie, Nouar’s resin-dipped mixed-media works debuted at her solo show “Satisfaction Guaranteed” at CHG Circa in Culver City on July 19. Her confectionary work — somewhere between painting and sculpture, two-dimensional and three-dimensional — was paired with Hikari Shimoda’s (HF Vol. 29) equally vivid, candy-colored series of paintings in her concurrent show “Fantastic Planet, Goodbye Man” opening on the same night.
While in Western culture, bunnies are considered friendly, benign creatures, in Japan they represent lonesome spirits. Hikari Shimoda (featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 29), a private, contemplative artist, often likens herself to these bushy-tailed furry friends. Based in Nagana, Japan, Shimoda has made LA her temporary home as she prepares for her solo show at CHG Circa, “Fantastic Planet, Goodbye Man,” opening July 19 in Culver City. Coincidentally enough, on the first day of her stay, Shimoda found and rescued a stray pet rabbit who has been her studio companion as she finalizes her new body of work.