Downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) will proudly unveil the next major solo exhibition from Japanese painter Hikari Shimoda, titled Questions for Living in the World, in the Main Gallery.

Shimoda arrived on the international scene in 2014 with her debut U.S. exhibition, Fantastic Planet, Goodbye Man, at CHG, which featured her ongoing series (since 2011) “Children of This Planet” and “Whereabouts of God.” Since then, she’s become one of the most widely recognized names of New Contemporary painters in Japan. Sparkling and sweet, Shimoda’s work is at once both enchanting and disarming, portraying a world where cuteness and horror coexist.

Questions for Living in the World features 22 new works (including five works from both her ongoing series “God is Dead, But…” and “Children of This Planet,” as well as eight works from her series “Fading Away Repeatedly”).

Regarding her ongoing "Whereabouts of God" portrait series featured in the upcoming show (some pieces seen above, titled “God Is Dead, But…”), Shimoda shares:

In my artwork, I often use children as a subject or a motif to depict hope and chaos. In some of the paintings, you’ll see a scar (surrounded by twinkling stars, with light shining through) on the children’s necks. The scars represent a warning about the possible future of humanity. In contrast, the stars represent my optimism for our future and the light expresses the idea that things get better over time. I’ve been painting this series for a long time and now the series has evolved to represent a hopeful attitude when facing anxiety and loneliness.

Adding, “One of the children I paint the most is called ‘Lonely Hero,’ and he’s the last hero in a world of chaos. He also represents my concern and hope for the future, so I joyfully style him.”

Based in Nagano, Japan, Hikari Shimoda first studied illustration at the prestigious Kyoto Saga University of Art and Aoyama Juku School before beginning her career as a contemporary artist in 2008. Soon afterward, Shimoda was selected for her first solo exhibition at the Motto Gallery in Tokyo, and since then has held exhibitions annually in galleries worldwide, spanning Japan, the United States, Canada, and Italy. Shimoda’s artwork paints a world where cuteness and horror coexist, and fantasy meets reality. She credits the Japanese pop culture she grew up with as the main source of inspiration for her Lowbrow-Irasuto style, inspired by anime and manga.