This fall the Honolulu Museum of Art (HoMA) offers a visually dynamic exploration of the most urgent global issues of our time. Artists of Hawaiʻi Now features 18 leading contemporary artists of Hawai‘i, whose compelling and essential works confront some of today’s most crucial and timely themes such as Indigenous rights, the environment and a range of social concerns employing a wide variety of technologies, media and techniques.
While their individual practices and perspectives vary greatly, all the artists in the exhibition are trailblazers, deeply engaged in fields and local communities beyond the gallery space. Their artworks, both contemplative and charged, investigate themes such as sustainability and the environment, technological innovation and systems change, land use, cultural heritage and identity, social issues and Hawai‘i’s past and present. Taken together, the works in Artists of Hawaiʻi Now question power dynamics, our relationships to each other and our shared planet, while offering a collective vision of how we might navigate the future.
The exhibition presents 13 new site-specific installations employing a wide variety of technologies, media and techniques. These works include Nāʻālehu Anthony’s Holomua (2020), a large-scale projection featuring footage from the sailing canoe Hōkūleʻa, posing questions of navigation and inviting personal introspection. Daniel Kauwila Mahi’s Kuikawalakii (2020) is an 8-foot-tall ki’i statue leading to a virtual universe — accessed by mobile phone — that reimagines Hawai’I’s future through acts of decolonization. Andy Behrle’s Ku‘u Hae Aloha (My Beloved Flag) (2020), inspired by a Hawaiian quilt found in HoMA’s permanent collection, features a digital montage of footage of water sources collected throughout the Hawaiian islands. Juvana Soliven’s Weaponized Pathologies (2020) is an armory of eight to 12 weapons, each in the shape of a medical instrument and representing a subversion of objects that were once used to oppress the female body. Christopher Kahunahana, Lanakila Mangauil and Nicole Naone present PIKO (2020), a 360-degree immersive video experience that asks the question “What is sacred?” using landscape footage captured on Hawaiʻi Island’s Mauna Kea.
For more information, visit honolulumuseum.org