Art & Design
Coy giggles break the air-conditioned silence of the exhibition room, followed by an amused whisper "I didn't see THAT coming". The two visitors are surveying one of the more graphic mangas, featuring a dark femme fatale with a mechanical hand in a close-up of a few sequential panels.
An older lady of about 60 leans in closer to examine studies, sketches and final drafts of a woman entwined with a giant octopus (which, although it clearly shows origins and inspiration in Japanese background, reminds me of Klimt's "Danae") .
Another visitor browses enthusiastically through on of the several digital copies of manga excerpts provided on the walls.
"Modern Love" is the culmination of the three part exhibition series revolving around the development of sexuality in Japanese art over the last centuries. This current show focuses on works of the 20th century: drawings, paintings, photography, wood-cut style and manga form with a majority of female artists featured.
Worth even more than pictures and a thousand written words? An interview with one of the featured manga artists, Sakurazawa Erica was available at the Doris Duke Theatre last week for a Japanese / English talk with a brief time for questions from the audience at the end of the session (as usual, I only thought of questions that would have really been interesting to me personally AFTER the event was over - will have to work on being more prepared). She spoke at length about her career spanning work for Playboy magazine for a primarily male audience, and after that as a story-writer and self-taught manga artist in her own right for Japanese magazines. Her stories are driven by character development, interaction and conflict with playful erotic scenes, sexuality, frustration and adversity as part of the everyday lives of her protagonists. Her work "Love Vibes" is part of Modern Love exhibit.
But even if I missed the boat on the first publishing of many a US graphic novel gem, this is not a mistake I need to live with.And the Anniversary edition of Fables' "Legends in Exile" is just one of many purchases that are evidence of my new-found love and appreciation of the American contemporary graphic novel. To ever-new horizons (even if we only made it to the party very fashionably late )! CJ
The Honolulu Museum of Art has been putting together some really amazing contemporary or historic shows this year, and I make it a point to go regularly if I find the time to check out what's new. This time the main attraction for me was in the Temporary Exhibit Hall #1 to the right of the Doris Duke's Theater: Contemporary Tattoos and the History of Body Inking in half of the hall space; works of Utagawa Hiroshige's Japanese woodblock prints in the other. If you haven't visited the museum for a while, check out all other current shows at the Museum as well.
The Tattoo show features a variety of contemporary and vintage body artists, many of whom are born in Hawai'i or have at least at some point practiced on the islands. And it ties perfectly with the upcoming Pacific Ink & Art Expo August 3-5 @ the Blaisdell, where some of the artists shown will be having a booth. For more info check their website http://www.PacificInkandArtExpo.com/ .
Art in Hawaii
Living in Hawaii is an inspiring experience, both artistically and spiritually.