Empty and Alone: Japanese Artist Hikari Shimoda Fights to Live in the Void
“To me, fighting to live is repeatedly questioning oneself when feeling empty inside,” says Japanese artist Hikari Shimoda of her new solo show, Fight to Live in the Void.
On view at Corey Helford Gallery in downtown Los Angeles, Fight to Live in the Void presents a range of mesmerizing new work from Hikari’s manga-inspired series Children of This Planet, Question the Focus, God Is Dead, But…, Defense, and Fight the Void.
With their cloying color palettes and cartoonish charm, Hikari’s wide-eyed portraits transport viewers into a place "where fantasy meets reality, past meets future, and life meets death, in a world that is yet to be reborn.” Her surreal treatment of children reflects the principle of Shikisokuzekuu, Kuusokuzesiki, a key Buddhist teaching that, according to Hikari, means “there is no truth in a particular form or idea, and the figure or thought of a human being reflects and is shaped by the state of society.”
Deeply affected by recent global events, Hikari uses discarded newspapers, packed with contemporary plights, to create her mixed-media works. “In 2022, it seems the world is on a path of turmoil and despair,” she explains. “My art begins with how I feel and think about today's society.” With starry eyes that hold the whole galaxy in their depths, the horned children in Hikari’s work reflect the artist’s—and the viewers’—unspoken emotions during tumultuous times.
“Those children who are wearing a vacant expression of despair and solitude are mirroring the emotions of the people who look at them,” Hikari explains. “Their sparkling eyes are staring into space, while reflecting both light and darkness, and those horns are a metaphor of wordless emotions, such as fury and despair, that people feel towards unreasonable things in this world.”
“To me, fighting to live is repeatedly questioning oneself when feeling empty inside.” — Hikari Shimoda
Fight to Live in the Void is on view from June 25 through July 30, 2022 at Corey Helford Gallery in downtown LA. For more information, please visit the gallery’s website below.
All photos published with permission of the artist(s).