Boundaries, change, and growth are all vital aspects of human life. Japanese artist, Hikari Shimoda, works to define those three terms in her new solo exhibition “Children on the Edge.” Each painting uses a variety of colors, varying in darkness and brightness. The subjects are children with large circular eyes that contain sparkles of color, which draws the focus of each painting directly into the eyes of each child.
While the children appear innocent and starry eyed, there is a sense of mystery lurking in each painting. While the exhibition is titled, ‘Children on the Edge,” Shimoda does not have just one way in which she defines “the edge.” Each child seems to be approaching a different stage in their life, whether it is adulthood, death, chaos, or the unknown.
Some children appear to have devil horns, while others have haloes – perhaps indicating their personal nature, or predicting their future selves. While the children appear to be the central part of each painting, the backgrounds tell a story of their own. Little symbols, such as stars and skulls, appear floating behind the children. Other paintings have busier backgrounds – smaller characters and objects piled up behind the child. The backgrounds appear to be a force influencing each child, suggesting that the outside world can determine how a child transitions into different stages of life.
Hikari Shimoda wants her paintings to relate to all of her viewers. Shimoda states, “ I tried to freely depict skin color, race, country, even reality and fiction.” By depicting each character in ambiguous colors, Shimoda makes it easier for each of her viewers to picture themselves within the painting. While the appearance of each child can be related to many different people, so can the main themes of her exhibition – boundaries, change, and growth. Shimoda’s exhibition can be seen at the Corey Helford gallery in Los Angeles from January 13th to February 17th.