Arts & Culture

Arts and culture reports by Noe Tanigawa

Kealoha
Kealoha

When Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed Steven Kealoha Wong as Hawai‘i’s first Poet Laureate, he handed Kealoha a mission for the next year: promote writing, reading, and the appreciation of poetry among Hawai‘i’s people. Seven years later, Kealoha’s crafted a multimedia theatre production that’s a creation story for today. 

Hawai'i Craftsmen
Hawai'i Craftsmen

Hawai‘i’s artists, designers, and makers are being invited to pitch ideas for a new community art center in the City’s Chinatown Gateway Plaza.  Several key Honolulu arts organizations have secured a trial space for a pop up this Saturday, then for two and a half months.  If all goes well, HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, a vibrant art center could make it easy for Honolulu’s business people to get creative.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

Honolulu is having an art moment, with fine international artworks on view around town.  For example, the Sunday Times UK called Lisa Reihana’s “Emissaries” the best artwork at the 2017 Venice Biennale.  The work, representing New Zealand, left Venice with accolades and bookings in Paris, London, Vienna, and guess what? “Emissaries” is now in Honolulu in a particularly revealing installation.

Noe Tanigawa

W.S. Merwin, a prolific and versatile poetry master who evolved through a wide range of styles as he celebrated nature, condemned war and industrialism and reached for the elusive past, died today in Haiku, Maui.

Keisha Bahr
Keisha Bahr

The ARTS at Marks Garage is under new management.  The mission is still:  To transform downtown Honolulu with the power of the arts.  It was a nice mix of creative brains and skillful hands the other night at the opening of SymbioSEAS—an art-sci (art and science) collaboration.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

The SaVAge K’lub of New Zealand has been staging unique cultural events in spaces around the world since 2010.  Fifteen members are in Honolulu now for the Honolulu Biennial.  HPR's Noe Tanigawa attended their opening in a storefront on Nu‘uanu Avenue in Chinatown.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

Cities that host biennials soon find a lot of art events piggybacking on the excitement.  Last Friday night, a throng of party goers kicked off the Honolulu Biennial for its two month run at Ward Center.  Saturday night, another international art show opened in an unexpected space on Nimitz Highway.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, the new iBiennale got off to an auspicious start.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

After its amazingly successful first run, the second Honolulu Biennial opens tonight at Ward Center.  Biennials are all about activating a whole city with art, and now, just about every key city has one. In the 21st-century, Biennials proclaim a city is part of the creative economy, and visitors expect to be wowed by the art, and take part in panels, film showings, and pop up exhibitions, too.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa visited The Honolulu Biennial’s HUB at Ward Center where opening festivities begin tonight.

SXSW Rides Again

Mar 5, 2019
kris krug
kris krug

The exceptional is expected at South By South West (SXSW), the global technology, music, and film festival, which starts next week in Austin, Texas.  Eighty thousand people attend South By, because important trends, like Twitter, surface at this event.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports 35 Hawai‘i representatives and groups will be going this year, including only one musician.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

Ten local art connoisseurs got together recently to choose 25 Top Picks at the Hawai‘i State Art Museum, or HiSAM.  Their goal is to lure everyone into HiSAM, for fresh perspectives on art in our state.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa asked two of the connoisseurs you probably know, about how they discovered art and what they get out of it.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

Wahiawā in Central O‘ahu is home to about 18 thousand people, plus over 15 thousand soldiers at Schofield Barracks.  Over the last ten  years, a change has come over a central section of Wahiawā, where bars and porn shops ruled the block.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, a surfing nonprofit has brought a fresh wave into town.

wikimedia commons
wikimedia commons

When you view the current crop of Pow!Wow! paintings in Kaka‘ako, remember, that throughout history, artworks have revealed a lot about the societies that produced them.  Next week, a noted social historian will show how three famous Romantic paintings reflect the upheaval, and hope of their times. HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, these messages from the Romantic period may resonate today.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

The Best of Aloha Shorts Tour offered a chance to pop in on fun art venues in Hilo and Kahului.  HPR’s Bill Dorman debriefed Noe Tanigawa on The Conversation.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

The East Hawai‘i Cultural Center is in a stately stucco building, white with green roof, that used to house Hilo’s police headquarters.  On the Wailuku River side of Hilo, this active community art center now offers art classes, a gallery, plus a theatre and café.   HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, over the past couple of years, a slow regeneration has been underway.

Yusuke Aonuma
Yusuke Aonuma

The Tokyo Midtown Award was created to encourage Japanese designers, artists, and people off the street to submit their bright ideas for potential recognition.  The idea is to show case uniquely “Japan Value”.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, the 2018 Tokyo Midtown winner does bring a particular esthetic to the current show at UH Mānoa’s Art Department.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

Painter Kainoa Gruspe graduated from UH Mānoa in 2017 and has been showing consistently around Honolulu ever since.  His latest show at Ars Café on Monsarrat combines the naïve imagery of a house, a T-Rex, or a happy face, with a paint application technique that looks like stacked magazines from the side.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports some paintings have a hundred layers.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

In 2017, Sean O’Harrow fondly recalled formative years at the old Art Academy, as he threw himself into implementing change as the Honolulu Museum of Art’s first Hawai‘i-born Director.  Just over two years later, many are surprised that O’Harrow is leaving.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

The staggering growth of digital media has not been the death knell for print that many people predicted.  Magazines, in fact, have found niche markets and new opportunities in formats that still lure readers and fans who seek them out.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on a new magazine in Honolulu that may feel a little bit more like home.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

In 2018, a host of factors led to the cancellation of Honolulu’s annual Night in Chinatown, held to honor the lunar new year.  This year, both the Night and parade are back, but as Chinatowns across the nation sputter and fade away, HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, Honolulu’s Chinatown, too, is in the midst of a struggle.

Sakura Safari 2019

Jan 25, 2019
Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

In Japan, cherry blossom viewing is a big event, as families gather among pink and white blossoms to ponder the fragility of life.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, you can do that on O‘ahu as well, in the uplands of Wahiawā.

Natasha Harth - QAGOMA
Natasha Harth - QAGOMA

The usual museum-going crowd on O‘ahu is joined by countless kids and families who remember Honolulu Biennial 2017 very fondly.  If the goal was to highlight local artists, bring in exciting international artists, and engage the community, it worked!  Thanks to the efforts of scores of local volunteers.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, this year’s Honolulu Biennial, HB19, will run March 8 to May 5th.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

Hawai‘i was a hotbed of change in the late 1800’s.  People were moving to the cities, as cholera, tuberculosis, and other diseases advanced, killing 70-90% of Native Hawaiians by the end of the century.  Foreign business interests were growing, and in 1874, Americans thought they had an ally when King Kalākaua ascended the throne.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on the Honolulu Museum of Art exhibition that focuses on his reign.

Oahu Fringe Festival / www.oahufringe.com

The Oʻahu Fringe Festival is celebrating its sixth running this weekend in Honolulu.

sofar sounds
sofar sounds

You’ve been to a stadium concert, you’ve been to a concert hall, but have you ever attended a concert in a neighborhood pet store or a willing stranger’s home?  It’s that living room kind of intimacy, plus a big dollop of mystery, that Sofar Sounds is all about.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, an international hub for intimate performances is getting a foothold in Honolulu.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

Artspace Projects is a growing national non-profit that uses low income tax credits to build housing artists can afford to rent.  They are experts at keeping creatives in neighborhoods that are gentrifying beyond reach.  That has proven to be a strategy that cities, including Honolulu, are eager to try.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

2019: Change We Must

Jan 1, 2019
Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

The United Nations Climate Change conference in December faced urgent news from the UN Climate Change Panel, which had concluded that previous CO2 reduction goals are not enough to avert catastrophes.  In addition, our window of opportunity to act is shrinking---to a dozen  years or less.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, we in Hawai‘i can contribute to the global transformation required.

Menehune! Where?

Dec 28, 2018
creative commons
creative commons

A lifelong educator, the late Frederick “Bruce” Wichman was a descendent of the Rice family of Kaua‘i.  He began collecting stories and legends, especially about the Hā‘ena area, when he was a child.  In 2013, HPR’s Noe Tanigawa met him one evening in Kōke‘e where he had a home.  In part two of a look at Menehune, Hawai‘i’s “little people,” Wichman described them as short, and stocky, among other things.

menehune hale
menehune hale

Hawai‘i’s Menehune are not very much like Christmas elves, but children in the islands all knew stories about them, growing up.  Menehune were said to be about 3 feet tall.  They lived in the mountains and when they felt like it, they helped Hawaiians of old to build temples, roads, walls and fishponds.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, the island of Kaua‘i is rich with Menehune stories, and evidence of their industriousness.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

Now that it’s the time of year for special gifts, lovers of fine craft and locally made art are wondering what has become of Nohea Gallery, formerly in Ward Warehouse.  Far from fading away, Nohea moved into the Hyatt Regency, and now, Nohea Gallery has opened a flagship store in Kāhala Mall.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports they’ve been connecting artists and art lovers for the past 28 years.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

Families from around O‘ahu have been checking out the new Victoria Ward Park in Ward Village, currently adorned with 25 thousand LEDS in a blend of art and technology entitled Light Garden:  a Thousand Year Bloom.  This marks the opening of Victoria Ward Park, and reflects a continuing effort by the Howard Hughes Corporation to use art to animate spaces.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

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