Hikari Shimoda Brings a Touch of Dystopian Horror to Cutesy Japanese Pop Art

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Japanese artist Hikari Shimoda has just opened her first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Titled “Can Pop Art Show the Way to Nirvana?” the mixed-media show features a host of Shimoda’s signature characters with glow-in-the-dark elements.

At first glance, Shimoda’s colorful anime-inspired work appears upbeat, but upon closer inspection, the childlike characters that initially seemed friendly transform into sorrowful, even menacing creatures. Inspired by the Fukushima nuclear accident after a tsunami hit eastern Japan in 2011, Shimoda’s art brings a dystopian element to modern Japanese pop art.

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