Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, November 15, 2001

Tae Kitakata's sock monkey display is titled "Hey Hey
We're the Monkeys" and are part of the Toy? exhibition.
Below, Kris Higa's stuffed fabric toys are titled "Magic
Family Plan." The largest bunny is $35 and the rest are $25.

Toy stories

Exhibition at Marks Garage
entices viewer with a bit of
levity in humorless times

Suzanne Tswei

The title of the latest exhibition at The Arts at Marks Garage poses the question in a single word: "Toy?"

As usual with art, the answer is up to viewers. Is it art, or is it a toy? Or is it a little of both? A toy by definition is a plaything for a child. The 13 island artists who created the exhibit have that in mind but the results aren't necessarily only for children.

"Playthings, diversions and curious conceptions" is how the artists describe their own work. Some are masterfully crafted sculptures that are also pull toys (by Jason Teraoka) while others are cuddly sock monkeys (by Tae Kitakata.)

Mari Sakamoto's wood and plastic gear toys titled
"Push-up" and "Sit-up." They go for $80.

The exhibit is charming and definitely not just for kids.

"It is serious play, in a gallery setting," says Rich Richardson, Marks Garage's assistant director who says the show is about art that doubles as "alterna-toys" that stretch the definition of amusement and trinkets.

"The question is 'how much happiness can you tolerate?' I encourage everyone to get in touch with their inner fool, the jester's humor and absurdist bent. Come on down," he urges. A little humor and fun is just what we all might be needing now.

Artists whose works are featured are Brad Capello, Duncan Dempster, Ari Eichelberger, Tracy Gunn, Kris Higa, Ryan Higa, Tae Kitakata, John Koga, Koi Ozu, Cade Roster, Mari Sakamoto, Jason Teraoka and Reuben Young.

Ari Eichelberger's mixed media toy is called "Irene." It goes for $65.

On view

What: Toy? Playthings, Diversions and Curious Conceptions by 13 artists
Where: Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave.
When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays through Nov. 28. Closed Thanksgiving Day
Admission: Free
Call: 521-2903

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