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Arts & Culture

Stylin’ Dinner Party!

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa
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Noe Tanigawa
Credit Noe Tanigawa
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Ashley Huang, "Uninhibited Frenzy," soda fired stoneware, installation with an emphasis on "party" in the Dinner Party show at Marks.

  Some adventurous Honolulu ceramists have set the tables at Mark’s Garage with dinnerware you may not have seen the likes of before.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found well-made new ways to serve your next meal.

“Dinner Party” continues at Mark’s Garage through October 1st.  

Noe Tanigawa
Credit Noe Tanigawa
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Mariko Merritt, "A Bowl for Peanuts." stoneware with overglaze, among Merritt's small works featuring animals, including giraffes, dolphins, and chickens.

  Artist Mariko Merritt is one of the ten ceramists showing in the Dinner Party exhibition at Marks’ Garage.  She watched the show’s instigator, Daven Hee, as he made some imaginative mini pourers—perfect for shoyu.

"He throws these tiny little pieces and he’s so fast throwing these tiny little components.  They’re all laid out in front of him and he’ll score and stick and score and stick and all of a sudden it’s a little teapot or something just forms before your eyes."They’re a lot like the whimsical vehicles and toys DavenHee fans  so appreciate.  

Noe Tanigawa
Credit Noe Tanigawa
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Daven Hee, "Daven's Dinner Party 2016," wheel thrown stoneware, these tiny pouring vessels would be perfect for vinegars or soy sauce.

Also showing, Jon Vongvichai who runs the ceramics program at the Honolulu Museum School.  His black and white, tailored porcelain plate sets should be an inspiration for chefs.

"And if you feel the rims, they’re super smooth, and even the bottoms are really polished.  He just sits there with the wheel spinning and his glazed pieces, and he has a sanding pad.  He sits there for probably hours, just sanding down to a really fine grit.  You touch the rim of those things and you just want to feel it!" says Merrittt.

With your lips.  Hee and Vongvichai are consummate technicians, they make what they do look easy, and their fluidity shows in the pieces.  They and Ashley Huang are among the core group of ceramists who show annually at 

Noe Tanigawa
Credit Noe Tanigawa
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Allyn Goo, "Dinner for 2?," Goo has managed to make what look like pewter luau plates out of bronze! In the "Dinner Party" show at Marks Garage

  Marks.  Huang responded to the Dinner Party theme more abstractly with a riotous scene, one many who have dogs at home have imagined.  Huang’s dogs are tearing up a Chinese banquet table!  

Hawai‘i’s fabulous food scene deserves appropriate serving ware.  What shape, for example, is the perfect poke bowl?

Noe Tanigawa
Credit Noe Tanigawa
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Daven Hee, "Daven's Dinner Party 2016." Hee is showing dish ware with no feet--the expected "foot" lifting the plate off the table is not there! The very grounded effect could lend itself to an unexpected presentation of, especially, raw food.

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