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.
Last weekend, Pictoplasma (previously covered here) returned to Berlin for their 11th annual showcase of Contemporary art and design trends. Pictoplasma is well known across the globe for its character design annuals, but the festival also highlights fine art, street art, illustration, toy design, animation, and graphic design. This year saw a continued interest in character-driven Pop surrealism, which addressed modern societal issues through kitsch and cute characters by an eclectic roster. Over 40 international artists took center stage with an extensive program of workshops, lectures at Babylon theater, and two major exhibitions- Pictoplasma’s main exhibition “Form Follows Empathy” at Silent Greene and the Pictoplasma Academy Group Show at Urban Spree.
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.
Last Saturday, CHG Circa offered pint sized works by their favorite artists in “Art Collector Starter Kit” 2. If you’re like most collectors, you know how to buy art on a piece-by-piece basis, but may not be all that well versed in the art that is collecting. This show offers a solution. In the gallery’s own words, “The motivation behind an exhibition of all 12”x12” paintings stems from the fact that newer collectors, or enthusiasts, who have never bought an original piece from one of their favorite artists, may now do so.”