"Hulihia, Ke ao Ka ilii" by Kupihea Romero is part of the "Na'au or Newa" art exhibition at The ARTS at Marks Garage.
Nine Downtown art galleries are exhibiting works by Native Hawaiian artists this month for Maoli Arts Month. More than 50 individuals' works are on display in a series of city-wide events.
The ARTS at Marks Garages is showing "It's Na'au or Newa" through March 25. A postcard announcing the exhibit defines "na'au" as "guts" and "of the heart or mind." "Newa" is a "war club." "It's the now, the na'au, the guts, the seat of our emotions, the journey to our present, ... our reflections. It's the newa, the foreva, the path to our past, the war club, our protection, our foundation," the card states.
The show includes koa bowls, feather capes and kahili alongside walls of Western-style art such as acrylic paintings. It also features work that takes off on the traditional arts. Noelle Kahanu, for instance, constructs a kahili with plastic bags and pvc pipe.
Quotes from Native Hawaiians, reflecting their culture and values, also adorn walls. "I knew we were connected the way islands are linked by ocean," says Lisa Kanae. "The burial of our afterbirth physically and psychically bind us to the land," says Kimo Armitage.
"It's Na'au or Newa" strikes a fine balance; it is neither too scholarly nor overly angry, yet offers visitors lots of food for thought.
The ARTS at Marks Garage is located at 1159 Nuuanu Ave. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturays. Call 521-2903.
"He Puahala," a bowl, by Solomon Apio.
"Nana I loko," a work made of plastic bags and pvc pipe by Noelle M.K.Y. Kahanu. Accompanying text says, "Try look eensai. Empty da shoppin bag, hollow stay da pipe."
Audrey Wagner's untitled green feather cape hangs amid other works by Hawaiian artists and artisans.