Sept. 28, 2016

Media contacts:

Lesa Griffith

Tel: 808-532-8712

Scott Whelden
Tel: 808-532-8719


Rich schedule includes Yun-Fei Ji, Karen Hampton, Ryōko Kimura and sublime volcano paintings

HONOLULU, HAWAI‘I—Fall 2016 brings a rich lineup of art to the Honolulu Museum of Art. Coming up is the museum’s first major exhibition of a contemporary Chinese artist, a show featuring three O‘ahu-based artists who express the impact of the Chinese Cultural Revolution on their lives, a collaboration with the University of Hawai‘i that presents contemporary Japanese artists using traditional techniques, a history-tracing exhibition by Los Angeles–based textile artist Karen Hampton, a look at First Hawaiian Bank’s collection, and the debut of a newly restored volcano painting by Charles Furneaux.

In addition, in October, the museum releases its first catalog of collection highlights since 1989, and to celebrate it has selected 22 of those works to show in a whole new light—at Spalding House in Makiki Heights.

Chen Chan Chen •
Diane Chen KW, Gaye Chan, Constance Chen Liu
Sept. 30, 2016-March 12, 2017
The concept for Chen Chan Chen began when the O‘ahu-based artists Diane Chen KW, Gaye Chan, and Constance Chen Liu discovered unexpected overlaps in their histories. Their surnames are the same in Chinese characters. All born in the 1950s, they grew up during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Nevertheless, their experiences as Chinese-American women have unfolded in different ways. The artists conceived of a project that would examine what impact this period of history might have had on their individual lives. 

Diane Chen KW (born 1951) was born in Chicago. Her parents left China as the Communists were taking over, and met and married in New York City. Gaye Chan (born 1957) grew up in Hong Kong when it was a British territory and immigrated to Honolulu with her family in 1969 when she was 12. Constance (Yun Li) Chen (born 1953) grew up in Shanghai, China, and was an adolescent when the Cultural Revolution began in 1966. She later married a man from Honolulu and arrived here in 1987.

To provide framework for their exhibition concept, each artist started with a set of four identical mass-produced ceramic statues typical of the Chinese Cultural Revolution propaganda, including one of Mao Zedong in his iconic waving pose, right arm raised high. These objects made sense for their themes as well as their artistic trajectories. Diane Chen KW and Constance Chen Liu are ceramic artists, and Gaye Chan is a conceptual/installation artist who often works with found objects; she is also the chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Hawai‘i.

Yun-Fei Ji: The Intimate Universe
Sept. 29, 2016-Feb. 5, 2017
The New York–based artist, who was separated from his parents at the age of two and grew up on a collective farm outside Hangzhou during the Cultural Revolution, is known for his large-scale watercolors that at first glance look like traditional scrolls, then yield subversive narratives upon closer inspection.

The Intimate Universe presents 44 scrolls, paintings and drawings created by Yun-Fei Ji over the last decade, drawn from major institutions as well as private collections, and new works made specifically for the exhibition. These include a suite of three related scrolls and recent experimental works with elements of three-dimensionality. Twenty-six never-before-exhibited preparatory sketches are featured as well in the survey, which was organized by the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College in New York State. Special thanks to hospitality sponsor Halekulani and media sponsor Modern Luxury Hawai‘i. See the full press release.

Imayō: Japan’s New Traditionists
Oct. 13, 2016-Jan. 8, 2017
Imayō: Japan’s New Traditionists, a two-venue exhibition held at the University of Hawai‘i Art Gallery and the Honolulu Museum of Art, examines the inspirational power of historical Japanese art and craft traditions. Six contemporary artists with a shared interest in the history and technical mastery of Japan’s rich pre-20th-century art and craft traditions reveal how this heritage is transformational, with the potential to renew and reinvigorate the familiar and conventional. The art on display—including textiles, paintings, ceramics, lacquer wares, and carved wood and cast-metal sculpture—honors and transcends the confines of “tradition,” reflecting and commenting upon Japan’s own complex and often ambiguous relationship with the past.

At HoMA, work by Tōru Ishii, Ryōko Kimura, Haruo Mitsuta, Satoshi Someya, Kōji Tanada, and Tarō Yamamoto will be shown alongside pre-20th-century Japanese art from the permanent collection that inspired the artists, while works at the UH Art Gallery, on display Oct. 2 to Dec. 2, will include larger-scale installations.

Imayō: Japan’s New Traditionists is curated by professor John Szostak, Department of Art and Art History at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, in partnership with the Honolulu Museum of Art. See the full press release.

Karen Hampton: The Journey North
Oct. 20, 2016-April 23, 2017
Los Angeles-based textile artist Karen Hampton examines the African-American diaspora in an exhibition that explores her personal and ancestral narrative. Karen Hampton: The Journey North, organized by the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, features new and recent textile works that tie together stories of Hampton’s multicultural heritage, from her family’s colonial past to her present experiences as a person of African, Caribbean, and American descent. 

The multilayered installation showcases the aesthetic and conceptual richness of Hampton’s textile works, which are interwoven with myriad genealogical references, and serve as a powerful vehicle for instilling the experiences of those who came before her while charting and claiming Hampton’s own unique place within that history. The exhibition is co-curated by Associate Professor of Art History at Hamilton College Stephen J. Goldberg and Susanna White, former Associate Director and Senior Curator of Collections at the Wellin Museum of Art.

Karen Hampton: The Journey North is organized around several narrative threads that, when woven together, culminate in a complex tapestry of Hampton’s hopes and visions for African-American lives. A self-described “griot” (the keeper and transmitter of the genealogies of a people), Hampton uses cloth as her medium to embed references to her genealogical discoveries through stitching, weaving, and digitally printing layered images, inscriptions of voices, and other historical markers. Employing embroidery and weaving, Hampton follows in the footsteps of African-American women quilters as she hand-stitches her family roots to illustrate their “journey north.” She also incorporates modern techniques that include archival photo transfers and painting to embellish and invent a new style of narrative.

See the exhibition’s program of a talk, lecture and workshop, as well as the artistʻs bio.

Käthe Kollwitz
Oct. 20, 2016-Jan. 9, 2017
The museum presents prints by Kӓthe Kollwitz from its permanent collection. A key figure in the German Expressionist movement, Kollwitz was trained as a painter, but like many of her early 20th-century German contemporaries, adopted printmaking as her primary mode of expression. Across a variety of printing techniques, Kollwitz remained consistent in her approach to social criticism, where her own personal tragedies spanning three wars (the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, and World War II), coupled with her deep empathy for the impoverished population that suffered greatly during the same period, informed the artwork she produced over the course of her lifetime.

European Art after World War II: Existentialism, Pure Expression, and the Reinvention of Tradition
Oct. 20, 2016-Nov. 12, 2017
The far-reaching impact of the Second World War brought major changes to the international art scene. Widespread combat and political turmoil in Europe sent its artists and intellectuals nearly wholesale into exile, many of them famously settling in New York where they inspired a new generation of American painters, the so-called New York School. These artists’ renown and notoriety effectively shifted the art-world spotlight to the new world, while European artists, as the story goes, beleaguered by the weight of tradition, and haunted by angst, never managed to restore their pre-war influence.

Yet, mid-century Europe saw a remarkable period of rich, complex creativity, as this focused exhibition of highlights from the museum’s collection illustrates. Beginning with a selection of works by the French painter and printmaker Jean Dubuffet, the show looks at how certain artists dealt with the war and its immediate aftermath by turning to existentialism, and by cultivating pure expression as an affirmation of human existence. It moves on to reveal how the Northern European coalition known as CoBrA, which included the painters Karel Appel and Pierre Alechinsky, took up Dubuffet’s example with free, organic expressiveness. Through major examples of the work of the French artists Pierre Soulages and Arman (Armand Fernandez) and the Spanish artist Antoni Tàpies, the exhibition also examines how Paris became home to a multitude of styles, as artists varyingly practiced elegant forms of gesturalism, gave weight to the materiality of abstraction, and looked to the environment—and especially detritus—for artistic inspiration. 

HoMA Select
Nov. 3-June 25, 2017
Spalding House
Coming out in mid-October is the museum’s first catalog of its collection highlights in 27 years. To celebrate, Spalding House director Aaron Padilla has organized HoMA Select—an exhibition of 22 of the Honolulu Museum of Art’s best works that will travel up the hill to Spalding House in Makiki Heights. Visitors will be able to see some of the museum’s most prized works in a whole new perspective—in a new space, in a new light, and a new context.

“The exhibition steers clear of traditional art historical paradigms as works are paired in unexpected ways, regardless of time period, genre, or geographical origin, provoking thought and discussion,” says Padilla.

Included in HoMA Select are works by Francis Bacon, Paul Gauguin, Hon’ami Kōetsu, Henry Moore, Nam Jun Paik, Auguste Rodin, snf Yamakawa Shūhō. It is a celebration of the remarkable quality and breadth of a collection that began nearly 90 years ago with founder Anna Rice Cooke. The exhibition is generously supported by the Louis L. Borick Foundation.

Celebrating 20 Years of Hawai‘i Art at First Hawaiian Center
Nov. 17, 2016-March 24, 2017
Honolulu Museum of Art at First Hawaiian Center
When First Hawaiian Center opened in October 1996, it included generous gallery spaces—and it held its first exhibition one month later. Since then, the center has presented 140 exhibitions dedicated to contemporary Hawai‘i artists. In addition, the bank has developed its own art collection—with many of the works acquired from these shows. 

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the exhibition program at First Hawaiian Center, the Honolulu Museum of Art, in conjunction with First Hawaiian Bank, presents selections from the bank’s corporate collection. On view will be works by many of Hawai‘i’s best-known artists, including Derek Bencomo, Allyn Bromley, John Buck, Ken Bushnell, Yvonne Cheng, Sally French, Linda Kane, John Koga, Wayne Levin, Mary Mitsuda, Hiroki Morinoue, Louis Pohl, Fred Roster, Tadashi Sato, Toshiko Takaezu, Doug Young, and John Young.

The First Hawaiian Center exhibition program was the idea of then First Hawaiian Bank chairman and chief executive officer Walter A. Dods, Jr., who invited The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu (now Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House) to organize exhibitions focused on the work of artists living and working in the islands, artists born and/or raised here who moved away for training and to develop their careers, and artists from elsewhere who visited Hawai‘i and then made work inspired by their experiences here.

Twenty years later, First Hawaiian Bank continues to fund this bold program in support of Hawai‘i artists, and its enduring partnership with HoMA benefits the people of Hawai‘i and visitors alike. 

Charles Furneaux and the Sublime
On view through March 12, 2017

This focused exhibition debuts a major museum acquisition—an untitled painting by Charles Furneaux (pictured above) that has undergone a careful conservation. It goes on view to the public for the first time, along with recent artwork gifts, and spectacular pieces on loan to present examples of Furneaux’s small on-site field sketches, his dramatic large-scale renderings of the eruptions, and vibrant landscape scenes.


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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, 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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