Japanese artist Kazuhiro Hori (first featured here) combines soft, cuddly and adorable with depressing and morbid. His primary subject, highschool age girls, appear dejected and even mutilated by some unseen force behind this candy-filled facade. Slight and anonymous, they are almost helpless in this abnormal environment. In one painting, sugary syrup, flowers and toys ooze from teddy bear stomachs, emulating internal organs. Hori’s imagery is more effective with the understanding of his cultural references. In modern Japan, the image of a highschool girl has become synonymous with purity, innocence and naïve as presented in shōjo (young girls) comics. This symbolism is used with similar affect by other artists such as Ikeda Manabu. To find them in such macabre circumstances points to Hori’s intention as to make his viewers uncomfortable.