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.
You only got until tomorrow @ 6pm to check out the annual Art sale at the Honolulu Museum of Art School !
Here's their blurb from the webpage:
"The Honolulu Museum of Art School runs studios for metal work, ceramics, glass fusion, and weaving, which aren’t cheap to operate. Every year the students and artists who use the facilities sell their creations and generously offer 30 to 100 percent of their proceeds to the school to help maintain the studios. Now in its fifth year, the benefit sale is a great source of one-of-a-kind holiday gifts. New items are added daily!"
I have already raided the place (twice!) and came away with some great, one-of-a-kind, hand-made cups and bowls. Looking forward to this event every year. It makes me want to take the classes, too - if only I had the time! 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/ .
Coral Sea, from a previous show.
Today's art exhibit recommendation is the juried Honolulu Printmakers Annual Show at the Honolulu Art Academy. It is currently on view in the gallery right opposite the main entrance and shows a brilliant cross-cut of different printing techniques, subjects and textures from Hawaiian artists - and it is free!
Some of my favorites were a beautifully textured print in copper and dark blue called "Indigo" in the middle of the room, an enormous black print woodcut reaching from the floor to the ceiling, and a smaller print of a skeletol human hand called "tactile". But so many of the realistic or abstract prints are absolutely stunning, and it doesn't surprise me that while I was there today one lucky couple chose to purchase and take one of the art works with them to California as a momento. The museum employee took a photo of them smiling happily in front of the newly aquired print, I hope it brings them joy and happy memories for many years to come.
If you haven't visited the exhibit yet but are determined to go better hurry, the show is scheduled to end by this week-end on the 16th of March 2012!
Thursday, and it is my personal cultural fiesta of the week again: A day of art exhibits, movies, and sketching. It seems that work always keeps my cultural recreation time to a bare minimum, and once my 'free time' sneeks up on me without prior planning it kind of fizzles out in between TV, reading and Laptop time. So starting March began my personal 'One arts/cultural event per week' campaign.
Last week I dragged my husband to R&D / Interisland Terminal to watch one of their "Manufacturing Reality" series movies. "The City Dark" is a documentary about light polution, and the side effects on astronomy and limited scientific observation of the stars, endagerment of migrating animal populations, to changes in human behavior patterns, sense of security, and health risks of an altered sleep-cycle and exposure to artificial light. Humorous, insightful, informative - that's how I like my independent movie.
About R&D It is an all-together different thing to watch movies in a smaller independent design center/ book center, and I think even though the chosen movies might be available on Netflix it is still worth the experience. Go check out the book store, coffee shop or events if you have the time. http://www.interislandterminal.org/news/manufacturing-reality-documentary-film-series-the-city-dark/
On this week's culture day, I decided to make it all about art exhibits currently on display in Honolulu. First up was a visit to the "Hawaii Meth Project" art exhibit at the State Capitol rotunda basement. I had seen a post about it and decided to take a look, especially since I don't usually get to visit the State Legislature building. The 'Art' exhibit was thoroughly underwhelming, and the graffiti center-point mentioned in the post turned out to be nothing more than a balloon-lettered hasty airbrush rendition of the slogan. If it hadn't been for the Youth Art Exhibit pictures around the basement, it would have been an entire waste of time.
Good thing I had another stop planned: The Honolulu Museum of Art currently has a number of exhibits that are well worth the visit.
The first installation hits your eye right as you approach the entrance: Patrick Dougherty's 'Footloose' giant woven nests have a whimsial, mysterious, even darkly ambigious feel (depending on your own set of mind as you view it, the time of day or weather). The organic sculpture looks grown rather than crafted and corrosponds to the installation gracing the Academy entrance at the other side of Thomas Square. http://www.honoluluacademy.org/art/exhibitions/12379-patrick_dougherty
The Japanese Landscape Prints in Gallery 21 was my first target, if you plan on visiting this one you'd better hurry since it is only scheduled until next week. My favorite is definitely Hiroshige's New Year's Eve Firefoxes at the hanging Tree. The contrast, detail and precision of the print is just stunning.
But the "Anxiety's Edge" and "Hawaii Art Now" Contemporary Art galleries were definitely impressive as well. After the merger of HAA and The Contemporary Art Museum, the quality of exhibits have definitely gone up, and some loans are rounding up the Anxiety exhibit nicely.
Summing up this week's Culture Thursday, with some sketch time in the Buddhism gallery for an upcoming painting project of mine - this made my day complete! It restored my fill of inspiration and motivation to shape up new ideas.
It never fails: If you feel drained of creative drive, go native on the local cultural scene. There's sure to be something to fill up the spiritual batteries!
Art in Hawaii
Living in Hawaii is an inspiring experience, both artistically and spiritually.