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Don’t let the colorful palettes of these Hikari Shimoda illustrations fool you into thinking they’re whimsical and kid-friendly. Upon closer examination, viewers will find that each polychromatic painting has a darkness to it that seeps through from Shimoda’s surreal concepts or the expressions and facial features of her subjects. The glowing eyes of these kids hearken to horror films in which psychic children use their powers to terrify adults. And if that isn’t strange enough, what other minors do you know who hold impromptu funerals as a pastime or eat the intestines of a stuffed teddy bear for fun? Hikari Shimoda’s paintings truly feature some bizarre happenings.
Shimoda explains that her paintings are an outlet for her to express repressed emotions, which contrasts from her usual cheerful demeanor. She uses children primarily as subjects because they aren’t defined as individuals, yet have the potential to be great human beings.