Hikari Shimoda Profile

1984 : Born in Nagano
2005 : Graduated from Kyoto Saga University of Arts

Artist's statement:
My motif is children whose ages are around 10 to 15 years old. Their attempt to adjust themselves to the modern environment in our time seems to be a hard battle to me. Also, they are living in an unstable time between being a child and a being an adult.

I pick up their warped attitude or feeling toward the outer world and express it through their unstable presence, I can express deep feelings I have inside, such as grief, alienation, and love.

I believe that adults who were once a child feel compassion with the children I paint.


Hikari Shimoda’s evocative paintings explore the complex themes of childhood and adolescence. Shimoda’s work captures children in situations of discomfort and hesitation. Her paintings offer the viewer an intimate glimpse into a world of isolation and alienation.

Often depicting a solitary child, Shimoda’s paintings possess a naive, illustrative quality.  Her delicately textured surfaces work together with a muted, seductive palette to create a presumed innocence. Shimoda draws the viewer into an emotional space pervaded by feelings of vulnerability, loneliness, and grief.

Rather than idealized portraits, Shimoda’s paintings present hollow-eyed children with chafed, twisted fingers and expressions of unease and sadness. These blemished and often disfigured subjects evoke empathy rather than fetishism, which has so often been associated with contemporary Japanese paintings.

Hikari Shimoda earned her AFA from Kyoto Saga University of Arts in Kyoto, Japan. She has received several awards for her work in illustration and painting. Shimoda has participated in various exhibitions, including the Museum Asahi Nagano, the Design Festa, the National Art Center, and the Geisa Museum. Shimoda currently resides in Japan.

[source: Foley Gallery]