The artist who created the infamous ‘Momo doll’, which found fame after its likeness was used as part of a supposed twisted internet ‘game’, has said he’s now destroyed the sculpture.
43-year-old sculptor Keisuke Aiso said he felt ‘responsible’ when the image of it was allegedly used to scare people into taking part in the so-called ‘Momo Challenge’, but now says people should rest assured Momo is dead.
The original work was called Mother Bird, created in 2016, and was displayed in an alternative art gallery in Tokyo during an exhibition about ghost stories. It was only when pictures of the sculpture emerged online that it became associated with the viral ‘Momo game’.
Speaking to The Sun, Keisuke explained how he’d thrown away the sculpture, made from rubber and natural oils, last autumn:
It doesn’t exist anymore, it was never meant to last. It was rotten and I threw it away.
The children can be reassured Momo is dead – she doesn’t exist and the curse is gone.
The artist says he’s upset the strange creation could have brought pain and harm to children.
— Iker Jiménez (@navedelmisterio) September 2, 2018
I have mixed feels about the people who have done this. On one hand they have caused me nothing but trouble, but on the other hand as an artist I have a little sense of appreciation that my art piece has been seen across the world. I guess I have to be grateful in that sense.
I created this artwork three years ago and at the time when it was exhibited at the gallery it did not receive much attention, so at the time I was very disappointed.
So when Momo first appeared, it was good in a way that it had received some attention. I was pleased. But the way that it has been used now is very unfortunate.
People do not know if it is true or not but apparently the children have been affected and I do feel a little responsible for it. I feel like I am in trouble but it’s all out of my hands.
The artist said the inspiration behind the doll was an old Japanese ghost story, in which a woman who died in childbirth returns as a bird to haunt the area where she died.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.