It has been stated, by the likes of Peter H. Brothers in his book Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda, that Godzilla was birthed out of a lingering fear of nuclear weapons, a delayed reaction to the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And this mindset of twisting tragedy into creativity, one could state, is also how Hikari Shimoda found her artistic voice, her anime and manga-influenced fine art taking a decidedly different turn in the aftermath of 2011’s Great East Japan Earthquake and the following Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. These were the inciting incidents that, as she admits, were directly responsible for her Children of This Planet and Whereabouts of God painting series.
Typically stoic in their stances, Shimoda’s otherworldly children are never quite fully human, always possessing horns or animal ears sprouting from their heads, as well as relaying an assortment of fantastical possibilities through their vacant, starry-eyed stares. Yet they evoke in the viewer an all-too-human fear of abandonment, of being orphaned, their solitude on the canvas exuding loneliness. And never is this more apparent than when her characters wrap themselves in superheroic garb, attempting to project a sense of strength even when their blank faces betray otherwise. And perhaps it is the power of this juxtaposition that caused Shimoda to select 2014’s Children of This Planet #14, itself a reworking of the previous year’s Eulogy at a Funeral and distant thematic relative of her 2011 painting Lonely Hero, as the focus for her first designer toy sculpture, the simply titled Children of This Planet, that is forthcoming from APPortfolio.

Hikari Shimoda’s Children of This Planet

Limited to an edition of 300 copies, each signed by Shimoda and numbered on the Certificate of Authenticity, these PVC and ABS plastic pieces made their public debut at the Innersect festival in Shanghai on October 5th, 2017. With Shimoda having supervised the sculpting and paint application of the Children of This Planet mixed media pieces, it stands as a truly accurate representation of her art: the almost comic book-like colorations of the form allowing the more alien aspects stand out, whether they be the pearlescent sheen on the hair, the transparency of the horns, or the striking depth of the eyes.

Click Here to Purchase Hikari Shimoda’s Children of This Planet,
available beginning on October 15th, 2017 at 10PM Eastern Standard Time.

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tagged in Hikari Shimoda