Suzanne Tswei

Local Color
Sunday, August 19, 2001


Darius Homay, amid his work, "Still Life," says his intention
is for the viewer to be in the realm of the surreal forms.

forms inspire fleeting,
individual feelings

Darius Homay makes the kind of art that makes people ask a lot of questions.

Like: "What IS that?" Or, "when is the REAL art going to be unveiled?"

Homay's latest work is an installation of 16 elongated forms, standing upright and shrouded in aged kimono, army blankets, tablecloths, pillowcases, leftover canvas and other scavenged fabrics.

The forms, about 5 to 6 feet tall, are mysterious and ghostly. They don't look like anything identifiable.

Jodi Endicott's mixed media: an acrylic painting with
concrete and wire statues painted black.


Drawings, Paintings, Mixed-media and Installation Art by Debra Drexler, Jodi Endicott, Darius Homay, Kloe Kang and Noe Tanigawa.
Where: The ARTS at Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave.
When: 11 a.m. 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, through Sept. 1
Admission: Free
Call: 521-2903

He calls his latest work "Still Life" and describes the forms as "faceless, quiet, anonymous, human-like figures." They are NOT supposed to look like anything, he says.

Art critics would call his art "not readily accessible," and that's just a fancy way of saying most people won't get it.

"I am very well aware I am looking at a limited audience. I realize people will see my art as challenging," Homay says.

Rich Richardson, assistant director at Marks Garage, says it's art that poses many questions but offers no answers. Viewers have wondered what the forms are supposed to be, what they are doing, why they are there, and if they are part of the art exhibit.

From her "All for You" series, Noe Tanigawa works
with feathers, gold leaf and wax.

"Some people aren't even sure it's art. They think the real art is hidden underneath the covers. I find people lifting the skirts, or the shrouds, whatever they are called, to try to sneak a peak underneath," Richardson says.

The underneath, or armature of the forms, is Styrofoam for mannequin displays, propped on stands with metal pipes. It's not meant to be seen, and it's not the art.

The art is the face-to-face experience with the group of almost human but faceless and voiceless figures, Homay says.

"I want the viewer to come and be confronted with this crowd of headless, silent forms, to stand here and look at them. And there are spaces to wander through in between. I want the viewer to experience what it's like to be in the midst of these forms," Homay says.

Debra Drexler's pastel, entitled "Dog."

There is no message, no deep meaning, he says. His only intention is for the viewer to be in the realm of these surreal forms. The experience is fleeting and subject to individual interpretation.

"It's this ephemeral thing that is meant for you to come and experience. When the show is over, the piece is gone. It's not meant to last forever," Homay says.

He is primarily interested in creating objects that carry no apparent intrinsic value, Homay says. He describes himself as unable to make "nice, neat framable objects that go with somebody's sofa."

For his one-person exhibit at the University of Hawaii, where he earned a master's art degree last year, he tore off sheets of aluminum foil, crumbled them, flattened them, and piled them into 48 chest-high stacks. After the show, he took the stacks to the city dump.

"They were just sheets of aluminum and who would want something so big that it took up an entire room," Homay says.

"Oblivion; When was the Last Time?"
is an oil on canvas by Kloe Kang.

He doesn't expect anybody to want his current installation either, which is just as well. He's learned from this installation and thinks he can improve it. The next time he plans to include a room padded with quilted hand-made paper to better complement the shrouded forms.

"I can't imagine somebody would have a use for it. I would be very, very surprised. I would be pleasantly surprised, and I guess I would come up with a price if somebody really wanted it," Homay says.

(Since the exhibit opened, the installation had offered almost daily surprises as it must be removed to make room for theater rehearsals and performances in the evening. With Homay's consent, Richardson rearranges the forms in the morning, and the configuration changed slightly each time. The theater engagement is over this weekend, and the installation will stay put from now until the show closes.)

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Suzanne Tswei's art column runs Sundays in Today.
You can write her at the Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, Suite 7-210, Honolulu, HI, 96813
or email

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