past CHG show January 21 - February 18, 2017 HIKARI SHIMODA & MICHAEL PAGE Main Gallery Michael Page, Hikari Shimoda INFO & PRESSSEE SHOW
Main Gallery
January 21 - February 18, 2017



The movement to understand the human condition is an important exploration for any artist and one that permeates deeply within the work of Japanese artist Hikari Shimoda. Glittering with a rainbow of stars, sparkles, and skulls, her paintings capture the metamorphosis of innocence and a dying planet that awaits rescue by a cast of unlikely heroes: cute magical girls and children adorned with horns and wings. In her third solo exhibition with the gallery, “Memento Mori”, Shimoda will debut a new series of 20 oil and mixed media paintings that continues to expand on her vision of the world after Japan was struck by a tragic earthquake in 2011.

Shimoda’s fasciation with religion’s role in a hopeless landscape is reflected in her new series of dashing compositions of colorful Buddahs (“Our God” and “Invisible Enemy”), dark angels (“Death and Angel”), and new portraits of mixed-race children (“Whereabouts of God”) with bright eyes and sparkling, slit throats. Another new series (“Manga”) adopts the dynamic imagery of Japanese comics to channel darker emotions such as pain, anger, and resistance. Her “Invisible Enemy” series, for instance, appropriates the fighting poses of action heroes like Sailor Moon and Ultraman, at the ready to protect and defend the world, while her “Manga” characters fully embrace humanity’s ruin. This ongoing series tells the story of a Messiah created by the human race, only to eventually destroy it and leaves two survivors.

 "Death and relief are the main themes for this new body of work,” Shimoda shares. “To look at the present day, where there are many people who find it hard to even live and find hope, to feel as though death is inching closer to us in the world, without looking away. Using the Buddhist Kannon as my inspiration, I wanted to express our unique practice of creating “saviors” in religion with my own contemporary deities. My paintings tell the story of the destruction of the human race, while also focusing on these contradictions between death and hope in modern times.”


Featuring fourteen new paintings, Michael Page’s latest body of work, titled “Nostalgia Kills, expresses itself with childlike freedom. He finds himself peering into his own childhood and basing his work on its relation to his children’s imaginative world.


Painting with acrylic and oil, Page creates dreamlike realms that lead the eye through an ephemeral landscape of exploding color and forum. Using free association as a technique, Page glazes each canvas with multiple layers of color to create a dream-state in which he says nostalgia resides and is ready to be expressed into form. The resulting liveliness of his work enables the viewer’s suspension of disbelief when contemplating the fantastical realities of the imagination.


Of his new collection, Page says: “Now that I am a father and get to play with my kids everyday, I get to see the world and all its wonders through their eyes. As I look back over the years watching my children grow, play, and learn, it’s fascinating and heartbreaking to feel the lightning speed of time. I find myself frantically seeking to witness all my children’s little steps and moments. It’s hard to sit back and think about all of the things you should have done, or want to do for your own children.”

Each of these paintings express pivotal moments throughout Page’s family life. From playing pirates and taking bike rides, to showing his children how to brush their hair and teeth, each painting displays these cherished life moments in illusory detail. Page adds, “I find it amusing that these particular moments stick out more than others. Much of what I fondly remember can be categorized as basic daily routine; which if you have children you know can be a lot like fighting a war as you try to implement habits. While nostalgia is mostly positive, it can create a sickening feeling if you sit with it too long. I try and remind myself that the past cannot be changed, and to always move forward and help create a true and magical future for my children.”