Fresh styles


POSTED: Sunday, February 15, 2009

LAST week the works displayed on this page were created by emerging artists who caught the eye of Gallery Iolani director Toni Martin. Martin said it was important to show the work of new artists to sustain the growth of the art community.

Thankfully, the curator of another space, the Hawaii Pacific University Art Gallery, housed in the lobby of the school's Kaneohe campus, shares Martin's perspective.

Sanit Khewhok selected Mat Kubo and Mark Fujishige to exhibit in the space, saying, “;I try to show artists who are emerging or may be established but are not recognized by the public. ... These are two artists we should watch develop. I hope in the future they will continue surprising us.”;

Khewhok says Kubo and Fujishige reflect the approach of young artists in that they work with materials that are readily available but used in nontraditional ways.

In “;Rudiments,”; Fujishige uses paper, ink and watercolor to draw “;very skillful lines that are not easy to control; they take a lot of concentration.”; Those lines comprise close-ups of faces and appendages, and “;what's interesting about Mark's work is that he takes a particular part of the body, enlarges it and utilizes it to fill all the space,”; Khewhok says.

Kubo also uses a familiar medium in a fresh new way in “;Vanity”;: He saws self-portrait images into planks of wood. “;The work looks 2-D but it's actually 3-D,”; Khewhok says.

For Kubo, “;Vanity”; provided a long-elusive opportunity to work with wood, something he particularly enjoys.

“;This style of work is from a process I developed two years ago,”; he says. “;I used to cut out stencils, and I started playing with it and put the stencils on wood; then the wood became the stencils. This time, the stencils are the actual piece.”;

Kubo says he spent about a month to complete all 13 of the works, which were made specifically for “;Vanity.”; He's surely a disciplined artist—each piece took two to six hours to lay out, one to six hours to cut and then still required sanding and finishing.

“;There wasn't much working time,”; Kubo admits.

“;Vanity”; and “;Rudiments”; continue through March 6 at Hawaii Pacific University Art Gallery, 45-045 Kamehameha Highway. The gallery is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays. Call 236-5853.