CONTACT exhibition puts spotlight on Hawaii’s contemporary artists

CONTACT Imai Kalahele_149289

A three-week art exhibition that showcases dozens of Hawaii’s contemporary artists opens Thursday.

CONTACT 2016, presented by Pu’uhonua Society’s Maoli Arts Alliance, features more than 100 works from 89 participating artists, plus free programs including lectures, panel discussions, and films, designed to complement the show.

It will be available for viewing from March 24 to April 17 at Honolulu Museum of Art School. Admission is free and open to the public.

“CONTACT enables the production and display of contemporary art made local and Native Hawaiian artists-many of whom would not otherwise have the opportunity to publicly exhibit their work,” said Maile Meyer, executive director of Pu’uhonua Society.

Overall, the annual exhibition explores themes of contact. This year’s show, titled Foreign and Familiar, delves into cultural exchange, migratory movements, and personal narratives of heritage and connection.

“I believe there is an inalienable relationship between a Native Hawaiian artist’s identity and the creative artistic process,” said Kauʻi Chun, who created the piece “Find You Find Me Gene: Pool Sampling.” “In my own experiences as a Native Hawaiian artist, I cannot separate my understanding of myself as a Hawaiian artist from my creative process. A substantial part of my process and work is about who I am.”

Artist Linny Morris created a video installation that captures the essence of water. “Over the past few years, I’ve gathered hundreds of video clips, all taken with my phone, of water in every form. I’ve edited dozens if them into a roughly 13-minute loop and am projecting the film straight down onto the floor from the ceiling,” Morris said. “The idea is to evoke the feeling of a journey from familiar waters across vast unknown waters to foreign waters.”

The exhibition kicks off Thursday with an opening paʻina from 5-8 p.m. The public is welcome to celebrate the exhibition with the artists, curators, organizers, and sponsors.

  • March 24: CONTACT Opening Pā’ina
  • March 29: Kūkākūkā – Curators’ Dialogue
  • March 30: CONTACT Artist Lunch Talks: Jerry Vasconcellos
  • March 31: Navigating the Divides of Contemporarty Art in Hawai’i
  • April 2: Keiki Workshop with Art Explorium
  • April 2: ‘Awa and Storytellers
  • April 6: CONTACT Artist Lunch Talks: Cory Taum and Imaikalani Kalahele
  • April 9: KALO Workshop with Bernice Akamine
  • April 13: CONTACT Artist Lunch Talks: Linny Morris
  • April 14: Visionary Hawai’i: Thinking about this place through other means

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