Artist and environmentalist Ryo Shimura creates his art with the hopes of increasing environmental awareness. The Japan-based artist focuses on environmental issues in his works, depicting animals near extinction. The endangered creatures that Shimura constructs each express a different heart-wrenching plea for attention and change.
Several of the artist's works are especially geared toward children. Shimura's creations really focus on informing children and getting them to want to be involved in environmental issues, the way his own interest piqued as a child. He has created 36 different shades of crayons molded into the figure of a meerkat, allowing children to use the coloring utensils while becoming familiar with the animal's physique. It's only a matter of time before a child asks what kind of animal it is and perhaps wants to learn more.
Shimura's latest project entitled 29000?600 seeks to draw attention to the drastic decline in hippos. As a child, the artist became fascinated by a bronze statue of a hippo at a local park. He is now paying homage to the animal whose population has severely plummeted, of which a large portion of the blame lies in poaching.
Check out an informative interview, below, with Shimura by Tokyo Buzz, where he reflects on the importance of environmental awareness and the impact he hopes to have with his work.