Monday, September 30, 2013

Blending Cultures with Modern Art

After spending 20 years in the U.S. and receiving an MFA from University of Hawaii, Tian Wei has found an interesting way to blend his Chinese roots with his Western education.  In a recent interview with CCTV, Wei talks about the importance of his education at UH and the influence it has had in his artwork.  After spending so many years in the U.S, his art has not played a large part in the modern Chinese art scene.  Now that Wei has returned to Beijing, he is finding that his artwork provides a fresh outlook in the world of Chinese art today.

Click here to view the full interview online.

Friday, September 27, 2013

UH Professor Receives Rave Reviews

UH professor, Reem Bassous, has scored a sensational review in the Washington Post set to run in Sunday’s Art section. The review highly praises Bassous’ piece, Green Line, which explores the turbulent division between Christian and Muslim zones during the Lebaanese civil war.  Green Line is
a powerful exhibit and will be on display in Washington until Oct. 5th.  Take a look at the online publication of the review here.

Spreading the Good Seed

UH Manoa Art Department faculty member, Gaye Chan, began a project entitled Eating in Public with Nadita Sharma in 2003.   Eating in Public is an anarchist encouragement to share as a community without the assistance of capitalist States.  The San Jose Museum of Art has caught wind of Chan and Sharma’s idea and will be featuring SHARE SEEDS as part of their upcoming exhibition titled “Around the Table: food, creativity,community.”  SHARE SEEDS is a free-exchange of non-genetically modified seeds, allowing people to become self-sustaining by growing and sharing their own food. Once the exhibition concludes, the SHARE SEEDS station will be moved to a permanent location in San Jose.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Five UH Alums Picked for Artists of Hawai'i 2013

Artists of Hawai’i is a prominent biennial event hosted by the Honolulu Museum of Art for distinguished artists in Hawai'i.  For the 2013 exhibition, museum director Stephan Jost, deputy director Allison Wong, contemporary art curator James Jensen, and former associate contemporary art curator Inger Tully handpicked 11 Hawai'i artists to showcase their talents in a month-long exhibition.  Artists were selected one year in advance from a pool of 341 artists and given 10 months to develop a piece for the Artists ofHawai’i 2013 exhibit.  Five! Five out of the eleven recipients of this prestigious honor are UH Art Department alumni featured below.

Kandi Everett – This is Everett’s second time at the Artists of Hawai’i exhibition since her debut in 2011.  This time around she received The John Young Award which is given by the John Young Foundation to honor original and talented Hawaiian artists who’s work is artistically inspirational.  Recently, Everett has been working on a variety of projects including octopus study of movement, developing bodies through drawing and printmaking two subjects, and nude drawings.

Yumiko Glover – Recipient of The Melusine Award for Painting, which is in honor of the late Gerry Clark, a well-known Honolulu artist and painter.  Glover explores the interdependent relationships of men and girls through her artwork.  Utilizing Japanese symbols of youth, femininity, and animals, the Japanese otaku culture bursts out of her paintings.

Ryan Higa – The Roselle Davenport Award for Artistic Excellence is in honor of Roselle Davenport and given to Higa because his work is for the audience as much as the artist.  He is also the recipient of the State Foundation for Culture and the Arts Recognition Award.  Higa’s artwork involves an extensive process to bring dynamic concepts and thought-provoking sculptures to life.

Russell Sunabe – Sunabe is also a recipient of the State Foundation on Culture and Arts Recognition Award as well as the Violette Wong Hu Award, in recognition of an outstanding amateur Hawai’i-based artist.  Sunabe is an established painter who creates subjective contemporary pieces.

William Williams III- Along with Sunabe and Higa, Williams is a recipient of the State Foundation on Culture and Arts Recognition Award and winner of the Reuben Tam Award for Painting.  Williams’ paintings delve into the deep emotional aspects of facing death and dealing with its unavoidable approach.  Using images of dead birds with varying colors, he explores the complexities of mortality and human emotion through his paintings. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

BFA Alum Marques Hanalei Marzan is Making Waves

BFA alum, Marques Hanalei Marzan, has made a splash in the art community after graduating from UH Manoa.  He has trained under noted experts in Hawai‘i, including master weavers, Julia Minerva Ka'awa and Esther Kakalia Westmoreland.  Marzan has used his top-notch training to distinguish himself as a notable fiber artist locally and internationally.  Sine 2004 he has traversed the globe embodying Hawai‘i in numerous festivals celebrating cultural arts of indigenous people.  While representing Hawai‘i in the Festivals of Pacific Arts he has traveled to Palau, Pagopago, American Samoa, Koror, and the Soloman Islands.  In 2006 Marzan brought Hawaiian art to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival held in Washington D.C.

Marzan is currently a staff member of the Bishop Museum’s Cultural Resources Division in Kalihi.  Utilizing his skills and cultural ties Marzan shares Hawaiian culture and fiber art to the public through workshops, demonstrations, and presentations. On October 18th TEDxMānoa will host Marzan as well as many other distinguished artists.