Today's Inspo Saturday features a diverse, multi-venue exhibit showcasing both international and local artists going on right in my backyard called the Honolulu Biennial! Yay! 'Cause if there's anything I love more than visiting an awesome art show, it's not having to travel far to enjoy that awesome art show ;)
The Biennial features mostly conceptual and installation artists from all around the Pacific ring and focuses heavily on the lives and tribulations of indigenous and migrant peoples, as well as a special emphasis on the all-too-real environmental impact man is having in this region. Although I'm being a big goober in front of this incredible art installation by Choi Jeong Hwa (pictured above), it is actually really upsetting to know that these were all loose buoys, ie giant pieces of floating trash, culled from the ocean surrounding the Hawai'ian Islands.
So come on a little tour of some of the highlights I saw from the three venues I visited so far. I'll make another post if I'm able to catch the rest... and if you're here with me on O'ahu, you have 'til May 8th to see it all for yourself!
>>Click any pic for a closer view!
Internationally renowned Japanese Artist, Yayoi Kusama, creates these amazing polka dot environments in galleries all over the world. Have you seen photos of those mirror polka dot/ pumpkin infinity rooms? Yep, that's her. From what I understand, she has been a voluntary patient at a mental health facility for years and something about creating the repetition of the circular patterns helps her deal with her own personal perceived instabilities.
Can you make me out in the pic on the right? I'm holding my guide copy just to be seen! The room, which was all set up with the trappings of a studio apartment, was really wild to be in, plus Tim and I lucked out by being the only ones visiting at a that time too. It's so different being INSIDE an exhibit rather than merely peering in from a roped off walkway. I really love that Kusama's works are all-encompassing experiences rather than voyeuristic.
Artist Chris Ritson is exhibiting his "biogenerative paintings" which are essentially living works that create themselves. Ritson makes simple armature for mushrooms or corallinales (basically ocean fungus) to grow upon and then shares his works as they continue to develop. I mean, how gorgeous is this living mold pictured above?!?
Viewing a collection of photos by Yuki Kihara was especially moving to me since I feel like they relate to the message I have been focusing on within my Bohemian Goddesses series.
This exhibit is a series of images of this very strong and handsome Native subject being harshly judged against traditional Anglo ideals of beauty which strongly harkens back to the horribly unjust and ridiculous practice of phrenology in the 18th and 19th centuries. Although we still have a long way to go in order to bring true equality throughout all of Earth's citizens, I feel like the world is finally starting to wake-up to this short-sighted and emotionally detrimental way of thinking, partially thanks to thought provoking commentaries like this.
A series of four textile robe-like creations created and compiled by artist Marques Hanalei Marzan, which "honors the four major gods of the Hawai'ian pantheon", was one of my favorite pieces. I love the ceremonial way in which he chose to exhibit them, and all the rich fabrics and various accessories really speak to my inner seamstress. Plus, any time I can learn more about the local history or lore is a total bonus for me!
These poignantly terrifying monoprint works by Alexander Lee highlight the detrimental testing of nuclear arms in French Polynesia. One can only imagine the scale of the harm done by these 'small tests.' It can really make one sick to one's stomach thinking about so much unnecessary destruction, both in the practice as well as the execution, and angry that testing of this nature is still going on worldwide.
A series of completely loaded down tiny boats throughout the main lobby turned out to be a very touching installation indeed.
I've always been in love with colorful trash junk because of the overly consumptive, human-nature, quirky personal-portrait type vibe that I feel when viewing mankind's day-to-day detritus.
Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizian created these trash boat sculptures in order to ask viewers, 'if you had to leave the only home you ever knew with very limited packing space - what would be your essentials?' Around the turn of the 19th century, thousands of migrant sugarcane workers boating to the plantations here on Hawai'i from all over the Pacific ring had to ask themselves that very tough question.
I saved the best (or at least, the brightest!) for last. When visiting the main hub of the show, I did not want to leave the pitch black room holding these three glowing chandeliers! They are so deep-sea-life in essence and in eerie-ness, however this exhibit is more a commentary on nuclear power rather than ocean health (even though the two are obviously related). Ken and Julia Yonetani created these uranium rich glass beads and then used them to replace all the original glass on these vintage chandeliers.
The glowing uranium is encased within the glass, but make no mistake - it is a highly dangerous compound, which I imagine would be pretty bad news should any of the little beads break. The chandeliers are meant to highlight each nuclear-powered country and help the viewer to see that although they are twinkly gems of beautiful amazingness and can be useful, what lies beneath is incredibly dangerous.
Hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did!
.... And aren't I quite the lucky girl to have such wonderful people to share these artsy experiences with!
Check out the Honolulu Biennial website [here] for tons more info about the venues, performances, and the artists' important messages. And feel free to leave me a comment if you went to the show, or at least feel like you did after reading my blog ;)
PS. Make sure you take the docent tour at The Hub on Ward Ave. if you can because there is so much more than meets the eye with these exhibits!
originally posted: April 29, 2017