Schoolgirl Nightmares

The world can be a cruel place.

But in it, Japanese artist Kazuhiro Hori sees young girls as the quintessential embodiment of innocence and purity. Channeling this outlook, his illustrations depict nightmarish worlds populated by rosy-cheeked schoolgirls in distress. The cake frosting has turned into a strong adhesive, gluing the girls in place like mouse traps; pools of strawberry jam puddle up underneath them, vibrant like freshly spilled blood; and possessed dolls claw at them, eyes gleaming with malicious intent. Hori’s illustrations, while steeped in a sense of horror, beckons viewers to look on in disbelief and ask, “What exactly is happening to these girls?”


这个世界,终究是残酷的吧。

在日本画家堀一浩(Kazuhiro Hori)的眼里,女孩是一如既往地天真烂漫,她们有着稍泛红晕的稚嫩脸庞,身穿象征纯洁的高校制服,但迎接她们的却不是一个单纯美好的世界。奶油蛋糕变成邪恶兹生的温床,草莓果酱流淌成鲜血,一个一个被赋予了生命的绒毛玩偶,伺机而动,贪婪地向女孩伸出魔爪。他的画作让人感到不寒而栗,甚至不忍去直视。这些女孩,到底发生了什么事?

“I work in an art school filled with 18- to 20-year-old girls,” Hori explains. “So from my perspective as a male, it looks like these girls live in a colorful, carefree world of cuteness and fun. They’re surrounded by their favorite food, music, manga, and friends. But the truth is, they experience a lot of worry and anxiety. A vague sense of unease towards the future awaits them. And unfortunately, their dream world is going to be replaced by the cruelness of real-life society.”


“我在一所学校工作,这里的学生大多是十八到二十岁、正在学习艺术的女孩。就我一个男性的眼光,这些女学生活在一个可爱、充满欢乐、色彩斑斓的世界里,被喜欢的食物、音乐、漫画书和朋友围绕着。但事实上,她们也有很多烦恼和忧虑,一股关于未来的隐约不安感也如影随形地相伴。很不幸的,将要取代她们所想的美好世界的,是一个残酷的现实社会。” 堀一浩这样解释道他的创作动机。

“I don’t think the real world is only filled with bad things,” he clarifies. “I’m just tapping into my personal feelings of different situations and observations, and then turning them into drawings.”

Growing up, many young girls will eventually step into a world inconsistent with how they might’ve imagined it in their youth, a place that’s perhaps not as bright or kind as they originally envisioned. Hori’s work—while cynical and distrustful—is simply his way of bidding farewell to the innocence of youth, a sendoff for the girls who sooner or later will be confronted with the unsympathetic realities of life.


“我不认为外面的世界是全然的坏。我只是提炼出我的感受,把它们画出来而已。” 日月星移,女孩总有一天要进入一个与她们想像不同的世界,也许是一个光明渐失、不再充满善意的地方。而堀一浩的画作带着一点悲观和警世的意味,不过是一场目送,眼看这些女孩向真实人生起程罢了。

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Contributor: Yang Yixuan


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供稿人: Yang Yixuan