Academy of Arts / Credit Ian McFarlane /
Honolulu Academy of Arts
Works such as Euni Figi's "Apron 3," made of silk organza and 115 pounds of rice, push the fiber-work envelope in the invitational exhibition "Tattered Cultures: Mended Histories," at the Academy Art Center through Sept. 28.
Textile exhibitions show the diversity and importance of Hawaii's collections
The 11th Biennial Textile Society of America Symposium has steadily if quietly become a major event in Honolulu's arts scene. The symposium, which will draw textile curators, scholars, artists, dealers and students from 19 countries and 31 states, has secured the participation of most of Honolulu's major museums and art galleries. In all, some 30 exhibitions citywide will be featuring textile shows this month.
11TH BIENNIAL TEXTILE SOCIETY OF AMERICA SYMPOSIUM
» Place: Sheraton Waikiki Hotel
» Dates: Sept. 24 to 27
» Registration: On site, $150 daily, space permitting
» Visit: www.textilesociety.org
It is an event that has Tom Klobe written all over it.
Klobe, University of Hawaii Art Gallery director emeritus, is a seemingly unassuming man with kind eyes, a soft voice and a gentle demeanor. Yet his humble style belies a powerhouse who has in his decades-long career cultivated major projects both local and international. Klobe has been involved in everything from the establishment of the Hawaii State Art Museum to UH's "Crossings" art exchanges with Japan, France and Korea.
This time around, Klobe has set his sights on using the symposium to showcase Hawaii's talent to the rest of the world.
"My goal is for delegates to talk about this symposium in superlatives for the next decade," he said. "Hawaii is really going to be known in circles it was never known in before."
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Tom Klobe, right, works with Hsiang-Ling Chen, courier of the "Writing with Thread" exhibit at the University of Hawaii-Manoa Art Gallery, examining a scale model of the exhibit. Klobe organized not just that show, but also the 11th Biennial Textile Society of America Symposium, involving 27 textile exhibits around the island.
Klobe's game plan calls for getting attendees out of the hotel and into Honolulu's art venues. Local specialists will head site seminars centered on the theme "Textiles as Cultural Expression" at such locales as Queen Emma Summer Palace (Hawaiian quilting), Bishop Museum (culturally sensitive exhibits), Kamehameha Schools (traditional art forms), the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (plantation-era textiles) and the Honolulu Academy of Arts (Japanese textiles). Most of these venues will also be running their own textile exhibits, which he hopes participants will visit as well.
"This allows delegates to hear from our experts, to see our resources."
Klobe became passionate about bringing delegates face to face with the local community after hearing comments at the society's previous gathering in Toronto.
"When Hawaii was announced (as the site of this symposium), some people said, 'Oh, what can possibly happen in Hawaii?'" he recalled.
Klobe faced the challenge head-on -- and then some. After assembling a committee of heavy hitters in the local arts community, he sought the advice of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, and funding from various arts groups and the state.
The conference isn't large, at just under 275 attendees, but for a specialized field such as textiles, that's record attendance.
"This is an instance where the arts are helping the economy," Klobe said proudly. "People are coming here quite a few days ahead of the symposium. A few are even going to the neighbor islands.
"It's important to let the rest of the world know we have outstanding cultural institutions in Hawaii. We must start promoting Hawaii in different ways, and this is one more way of making sure this will happen."
Textiles on view
Textile exhibitions and related events held in conjunction with the 11th Biennial Textile Society of America Symposium:
» International Textile Marketplace: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 25 and 26, Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Features specialty collectibles, rare books, conservation products and wearable art from India, the United Kingdom, Thailand, Japan, Italy, Canada, Guatemala, Laos and the United States.
» "Writing with Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities": Sunday to Nov. 30, University of Hawaii Art Gallery, 956-6888. Features more than 500 objects from the Evergrand Museum in Taiwan that document the traditions and customs of groups with no written language. Diane Letoto and Phoenix Dance Chamber present dances of Chinese minorities, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, followed by opening reception.
» "Writing with Thread" colloquium: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at Kuykendall auditorium at UH. Free. Eight scholars from China, Taiwan, Canada and the United States share their research for the exhibit.
» Honolulu Academy of Arts exhibits:"Bright and Daring: Japanese Kimono in the Taisho Mode," through Oct. 5; "Blue and White: Indigo-dyed Japanese Textiles," through Oct. 5; "Earth and Sky: Chinese Textiles from the Academy's Collection," through Oct. 5; "Indonesian Batik from the Christensen Fund Collection," through Oct. 15; and "All About Textiles," through Aug. 9.
» "Tattered Cultures: Mended Histories": Through Sept. 28, Academy Art Center, 532-8741. Works by international members of the Textile Society of America discuss how dominant ideologies tatter the cultural heritage of the less dominant and culturally diverse.
» "JiYoung Chung: Whisper-Romance III": Through Sept. 28, Academy Art Center, 532-8741. Works of colorful "joomchi" (handmade Korean paper) by JiYoung Chung, a painter, paper maker and mixed-media artist.
» "Pauahi: A Legacy for Hawaii": Through Dec. 31, Bishop Museum, 848-4106. Includes items that celebrate the contributions of the last descendent of Kamehameha I.
» "Ili Iho: the Surface Within": Saturday to Jan. 11, Bishop Museum, 848-4106. Treasures from the museum's collection are shown alongside the works of eight contemporary textile artists.
» "Fundamental Fiber: Lauhala, Tapa & Quilts": Friday to Jan. 3, Mission Houses Museum, 531-0481. Features 19th- and 20th-century objects from the museum's collection.
» "Beaten and Basted: A Collection of Rare Kapa and Quilts," presented by the Daughters of Hawaii: Saturday to Oct. 31, Queen Emma Summer Palace, 595-6291. Includes the patchwork smoking jacket of King Kamehameha IV, handmade by Queen Emma.
» "Intertwine: A Selection of Hawaii Fiber Art": Through Jan. 17, Hawaii State Art Museum, 586-0900. Presents a sampling of works spanning several decades from the Art in Public Places Collection of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.
» "WeARTables": Sept. 23 to Oct. 18, Louis Pohl Gallery, 521-1812. Works by the Hawaii Handweavers' Hui include clothing, bags and decorative accessories.
» "Fiber Hawaii 2008": Tomorrow to Oct. 11, the ARTS at Marks Garage, 521-2903. Popular biennial juried show features contemporary art and craft based on fiber traditions.
» Lecture by Tom Grotta, juror of "Fiber Hawaii 2008": 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, the ARTS at Marks Garage, 521-2903.
» "Contemporary Fiber Art of Hawaii": Sept. 26 to Jan. 13, the Contemporary Museum at First Hawaiian Center, 526-1322. Statewide invitational showcases the cultural and material diversity of local artists.
» "Field of Flowers: Mughal Carpets and Treasures": Sunday to Dec. 31, East-West Center Gallery, 944-7543. Carpets from the Doris Duke collection at Shangri La, plus works inspired by Mughal floral patterns, including brassware, paintings, stonework, woodwork and textiles.
» Selections from the University of Hawaii Costume Collection: Saturday to Oct. 30, Miller Hall, UH-Manoa campus. The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at UH holds one of the most important Asian and Pacific island costume collections of universities in the United States.
» "Pride and Practicality: Japanese Immigrant Clothing in Hawaii": Through Sept. 27, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, 945-7633. Examples of early clothing, along with stories of the immigrants.
» "Ancient Customs, Ancient Stories: Lampung Ceremonial Textiles and Objects": Through Oct. 31, Hamilton Library, UH-Manoa campus, 956-7204. Examples of house architecture, ceremonial furniture, objects, mats and beadwork and their relation to the imagery of textiles from Lampung, the southernmost province of Sumatra, Indonesia.
» "Original Bags for Original Women: The Passionate Purse": Through Sept. 25, The Gallery at Ward Centre, 597-8034. Fabric artist Lynda Sakraida, designer and creator of Hadji Baba Bags, uses designer fabric in natural materials and embellishment from around the globe.
» "Iterate reiterate re": Through Oct. 25, thirtyninehotel, 599-2552. Works by UH fiber faculty Mary Babcock, Maya Portner and Madeleine Soder intentionally rely on repetition in process and motif.
» "bodyWHERE": Sunday to Oct. 3, Commons Gallery, University of Hawaii-Manoa, 956-6888. Works by graduate and undergraduate students participating in UH's fibers program.
» "Quilts: A Contemporary Celebration": Through Oct. 5, Honolulu Hale. Works by members of the Hawaii Quilt Guild.
» "Design in Asian Textiles": Today to Oct. 5, Robyn Buntin of Honolulu, 523-5913. Pieces from private collections include woodblock print designs, "katagami," kimono, obi, "kasuri," "tsutsugaki" and Chinese robes and embroidery.
» "Twists and Turns: Contemporary Textiles in Hawaii Today": Thursday to Oct. 30, Exhibit Space at 1132 Bishop St., 599-5009. New works by such well-known local artists as Liz Train, Mary Babcock, Dieter Runge, Maya Portner, Eisha Bonhert and Kimberlin Blackburn.
» "Pacific Island Textiles as Status, Wealth, Genealogy, Supernatural Protection": Through Oct. 10, Outrigger Waikiki Hotel. Pacific Island textiles that are utilitarian and ceremonial, secular and sacred.
» "Threads of Hawaii": Sept. 22 to 30, UH Miller Hall Room 112 gallery.
» "Women in Black": Sept. 21 to Oct. 31, Gallery on the Pali, First Unitarian Church, 2500 Pali Highway, 595-4047.
» "Threads of Hope": Sept. 23 to Oct. 31, second floor of Aloha Tower Marketplace. Pink garments from UH costume collection, in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
» "Nomadic Woven Art of Turkey": Through Sept. 19, studio of Roy Venters, 1160-A Nuuanu Ave. Antique, classic and modern handmade Turkish, Persian, Afghan and Caucasian rugs, plus textiles, pillows and scarves. Part of sales go to the Aloha Peace House. Call for appointment, 345-9771, or e-mail email@example.com.