August 7, 2018

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Joseph Martyak

Tel: 808-532-8712

Kathleen Wong
Tel: 808-532-8748


Museum collaborates with Ukwanshin Kabudan for programs inspired by 'Lacquer and Clay: Okinawan Art' 

HONOLULU, HAWAI‘I—For the first time ever, the Honolulu Museum of Art is partnering with local community art group Ukwanshin Kabudan—led by Eric Wada—and The Okinawan Textile Association to co-present a weekend of programs in conjunction with the exhibition Lacquer and Clay: Okinawan Art. Called the Living Textiles of Ryukyu, the special programs will take place from Aug. 10 to 12 and feature preeminent Okinawan textile artists. 

"It's a really rare treat for people to see the different types of weaving and also the stencil-dying and indigo-dying in one place," Wada says. "We're really happy that they agreed to come and share the folk art and all of these rich treasures with us in Hawai‘i," Wada says. 

The artists, along with their assistants, will provide insight into the various aspects of textile traditions still being practiced in Okinawa. Amongst the visiting artists are: Mieko Taira, who is from the lineage of Toshiko Taira, a Japanese Living National Treasure practicing the art of bashofu (banana) fiber weaving; Yomitan brocade weaver Hiroko Matayoshi; Machiko Miyagi who weaves kasuri, an ikat fabric of tie-dying threads prior to weaving; indigo dyer, Okishige Maeshiro, along with a katachiki (bingata) artist.

Kicking off the free public programming (with museum admission) on Friday, Aug. 10, between 10am and noon, the artists and the museum’s curator of textiles, Sara Oka, will examine, discuss and share their knowledge of selected works from the museum’s textile collection. This unique opportunity to view objects from the vaults of Okinawan woven and dyed works, along with signed paper stencils used in the katachiki (bingata) process, will set the stage for the following days of demonstrations. Learn more about this textile sharing event here.

On Aug. 11 and 12, the Okinawan artists will be on hand to explain their artwork. Between 10am and 3pm, the weavers will do a free live demonstration on looms brought in specifically for this collaboration. Learn more about the weaving demonstration here.

Anyone interested in learning more about katachiki (bingata) or stencil-dyed cloth—traditionally worn only in Okinawa’s royal courts—can register for a workshop being held at the Art School on Sunday, from 10 am to 3 pm. Click here to register. (Registration fees apply.)

Ukwanshin Kabudan

The Ukwanshin Kabudan is a Ryukyu/Okinawa performing arts troupe based in Hawai`i. The purpose is to maintain the traditional music, dance and cultural art forms while fostering goodwill and understanding through sharing. We participate in educational programs to promote cultural awareness, and also provide public workshops and events. In addition, we host Cultural Study Tours and Identity Conferences to create a deeper understanding and connection to Okinawan roots.

Lacquer and Clay: Okinawan Art

Hawai‘i has the largest community of Okinawan descent outside of the Ryukyu Islands. With a history of more than a century, this community has maintained a distinct cultural identity, while at the same time contributing significantly to the rich diversity of the islands. Thanks to the strong ties between Hawai‘i and Okinawa, HoMA is fortunate to have an extensive collection of Okinawan art. This exhibition includes rare works from the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429–1879), which controlled an extensive maritime trade network and played a key role in the cultural and economic exchange between China and Japan at a critical point in the histories of all three civilizations. 


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About the Honolulu Museum of Art

One of the world’s premier art museums, the Honolulu Museum of Art presents international caliber special exhibitions and features a collection that includes Hokusai, van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso and Warhol, as well as traditional Asian and Hawaiian art.

Located in two of Honolulu’s most beautiful buildings, visitors enjoy two cafés, a shop, gardens, and films and concerts at the theater. The museum is dedicated to bringing together great art and people to create a more harmonious, adaptable, and enjoyable society in Hawai’i.


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