Simone Legno wanted to create a fantasy world populated with kawaii (Japanese for “cute”) characters which are both playful and provocative. Some of these characters are dressed so as “to highlight symbolically the bad things in the world we live in.” Works such as la Moofia and Cactus Amis put on display a combination of protective elements and vulnerable characters. These adorable yet disconcerting personalities cause the viewer to ask themselves how it is violence has become an integral part of our society. His depictions also contain a hint of social comment: with half-dressed cosmopolitan women in an urban environment, everything seems fine till we take them into a city in flames, dancing skeletons, and other allusions to death and destruction.
Tokidoki, Legno’s official brand, takes its name from the Japanese word for “sometimes,” which Legno chose because, as he said in an interview with Katie Maltby: “Everyone hopes for moments which change their destiny… by chance or in response to meeting someone new… Tokidoki is the hope, the hidden energy that everyone has inside, giving us the strength to confront a new day and dream of something positive [and] that something magical can happen to us.” For this reason, Tokidoki fulfils its objective by presenting gentle and inspiring characters full of energy, mystery, hope and humour.