Holes was made from layers of pasted newspapers. The surface was painted white with hints of pale blue, then pierced to reveal the different layers underneath. Shimamoto began the series around 1949 or 1950, during the post-war American occupation of Japan. The contrast between delicacy and violence may reflect the fracturing of traditional Japanese culture in the wake of the Second World War. This balance between destructive and creative action was a key element in the work of the Gutai Art Association (1954–72), of which Shimamoto was a founder.