Hikari Shimoda‘s creepy paintings of children depict them as sweet, sinister, wounded and abused. The eerie mouths, asymmetrical, strange little faces and one-eyed appearance (often one milky eye, one bruised and bloody-looking) of these alien but painfully familiar little beings, rendered in bright or pastel, almost child-friendly, but also quite subtly mixed and profound, colors, all serve to give a creeping sense of the corruption of innocent childhood, an inversion of the saccharine bliss associated with little children.
As Shimoda explains in her artist’s statement, “Contrasting with my daily cheerful demeanor, my unexpressed emotions accumulate inside of me. I feel like an outsider, isolated, lost, and have a hard time building relationships with others, but I never give up being part of the world. The secret to survival? Observe, feel, and listen to yourself. I stand in front of my canvas and confront it, releasing all the built-up unverbalized emotions, the chaos, and the unnoticeable darkness. Even though I know my contrasting side will be shone in the light with no place to hide, I paint to live and to be connected in this world. I accept and understand myself more through my artistic processes than anything else. As I know myself more, I can see others better.
My motif is mainly children. They are nobody, and yet, they could be somebody. They could be me as a small child, or they could be somebody’s inner child. Children, as ambiguous of an existence as they are, reflect my personal world and the universal problems that society today has.”
Tags: bandages, bizarre, bruises, children, colorful, cute n creepy little creatures, distorted bodies, dollflesh, injuries, innocence/menace, lolita-esque, mute, neo-victorian, pastel, surreal, twins/doppelgangers/doubles, unnaturally colored flesh, wound