Sept. 6, 2017 

Media contacts:

Lesa Griffith

Tel: 808-532-8712

Adele Balderston
Tel: 808-532-8727


From butoh to Kurosawa, and revealing talks to a fun family day, Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West
comes alive with programming

HONOLULU, HAWAI‘I—The Honolulu Museum of Art’s anticipated Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West, opening Sept. 7, is the first museum exhibition to address a gap in the history of Abstract Expressionism, bringing artists of the New York School together with Asian American artists who studied and worked in New York in the 1940s and 1950s, examining their presence within this circle, as well as the influence of Asian intellectual and artistic traditions on artists long revered as uniquely American.

To add new dimensions to the exhibition, the museum has created a slate of related public programs that run from Sept. 7 to Jan 13.

Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West
Public programs

Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West
Theresa Papanikolas, Ph.D., Deputy Director of Art and Programs
Sept 7 • 5:30pm • Doris Duke Theatre • Free
Theresa Papanikolas, who curated the exhibition, gives an in-depth look at the museum’s biggest show of the year from the curator. This lecture is free, but the public needs to reserve a space online at

Bank of Hawaii Family Sunday: Abstract Expressions
Sept 17 • 11am-3pm • Free
The museum’s monthly free family day will feature two art activities inspired by the works of Satoru Abe and Harry Tsuchidana—two of Hawai‘i’s living legends whose work is included in Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West. The artist will be at the event watching what young artists come up with. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

See the full schedule.

ARTafterDARK: Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West
Sept 29 • 6-9pm • $25, free for members
The museum’s monthly art party focuses on the exhibition Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West. It’s a jazz-fueled night and the show, which normally has an additional admission fee of $10, is included in ARTafterDARK admission. Guests who come up with new names for their favorite works in the exhibition will have their bon mots projected on the big screen, and the best one will win a limited-edition Abstract Expressionism T-shirt. See the evening's full schedule.

Butoh masters: Koichi and Hiroko Tamano
Oct 7 • 2pm • Selected galleries • Free
Butoh emerged in Japan in the aftermath of World War II as a dance based on natural movement of “common folk,” but was also influenced by western art movements such as Surrealism, and made its way to the U.S.—echoing Abstract Expressionism’s American roots that found inspiration from Asia.

Koichi and Hiroko Tamano are considered the parents of Butoh in the U.S. Now based in Japan, the museum brings them to Honolulu to perform their evocative dance amid artworks in selected galleries.

This performance is free, but the public needs to reserve a space online at

Butoh Dance Workshop
Oct 8 • 4-6pm • $35, $25 museum members • Register at
Koichi and Hiroko Tamano—considered the parents of Butoh in the U.S.—perform at the Honolulu Museum of Art on Oct. 7 [hyperlink]. Then they generously offer this workshop Butoh workshop. The Tamanos will help you connect with your six senses (touch, smell, hearing, sight, taste, and realization) and the images of your inner cosmos. Energy will release from the depths of your being and blow through your body's internal space. No experience required.

Film Series
Akira Kurosawa Retrospective

Oct 7–Nov 2 • Doris Duke Theatre • $12 general, $10 museum members
The influence of Eastern aesthetics on Western art addressed in Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West can also be seen in cinema—epitomized by Kurosawa's approach to image-making that inspired Hollywood and the Western imagination from the 1940s to 1990s. See more than 25 of Kurosawa’s most recognized films in this career survey that starts with his debut feature and ends with his last.

Jackson Pollock, Herbert Matter, and the Origins of Abstract Expressionism
Sean O’Harrow, Ph.D., Director
Nov 9 • 5:30pm • Doris Duke Theatre • Free
The museum’s director, who orchestrated a world tour of Jackson Pollock’s famed Mural when he was previously director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, will talk about the artist, his friend photographer Herbert Matter (the subject of the Pollock on view in Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West) and the start of a movement.

PechaKucha: Abstract
Dec 1 • 7-9pm • Honolulu Museum of Art School • Free
The quarterly speed presentation session by creatives takes on the theme of abstract.

Panel Discussion
The Metcalf Chateau: Hawai‘i’s Abstract Expressionists and Their Work

Jan 13 • 2pm • Henry R. Luce Gallery • Free
Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get the inside scoop on Hawai‘i’s most famous group of artists from people who know them and their pioneering work. On the panel: Nancy Conley, art collector; John Koga, artist; Marcia Morse, art historian and critic; Theresa Papanikolas, HoMA Deputy Director of Art and Programs.

This event is free with exhibition admission ($10), but guests need to reserve a space online at

AbEx and the City: Museum Abstract Expressionism city guide to public art
The museum has created a digital guide to public Abstract Expressionist work anyone can enjoy throughout Honolulu. From Tadashi Sato’s iconic mosaic in the State Capitol to Isamu Noguchi’s towering Sky Gate on the grounds of Honolulu Hale, it’s an art hop that helps people see the art—and the city—in a new way. The guide is on the museum’s app, which is available in the App Store or Google Play.

Visitors inspired by the show will find great Abstract Expressionism-related gifts in the Museum Shop:

Exhibition catalog: This handsome full-color volume featuring all the artwork in the exhibition is a must-have for art lovers. $36.95

T-shirt: The exhibition’s logo makes a great statement T-shirt. The 100% cotton shirt comes in white. $19.95

Mug + tote bag: Also available is a stylish mug and tote bag brandishing the exhibition logo. $16.06 + $19.95

Children’s books and toys: A great selection of books and toys with an AbEx edge are sure to boost youn ones’ creativity. $10-$20

This exhibition is made possible by the generosity of the Terra Foundation for American Art, First Insurance Company of Hawaii, Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, JCB International Credit Card Co., Ltd., Tori Richard, Ltd., Halekulani, Japan Foundation, Hawaii Council for the Humanities, Saks Fifth Avenue and HILuxury. Additional support provided by Nancy & Herb Conley; Violet Loo; Judy Pyle & Wayne Pitluck; and Frances & Robert R. Bean.

Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.


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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.


Honolulu Museum of Art: 900 S. Beretania Street
Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House: 2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu Museum of Art School: 1111 Victoria Street
Honolulu Museum of Art at First Hawaiian Center: 999 Bishop Street
Honolulu Museum of Art Doris Duke Theatre: 901 Kinau Street (at rear of museum)


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Admission (permits entry to both museums on the same day):

$20 general admission; $10 Hawai‘i residents and active duty military living in Hawai‘i; children 18 and under are free.

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