First Friday


POSTED: Friday, September 04, 2009
This story has been corrected.  See below.

What started out as an exhibit of photographs of one kumu hula has evolved into a well-rounded artistic display of hula itself, in “;Ho'oulu: The Inspiration of Hula,”; the Hawaii State Art Museum's new exhibit that opens today.

The show features Frances Haar's photography of legendary kumu 'Iolani Luahine, hula-inspired and related works from the state's Art in Public Places collection, and portraits of various hula masters collected in the first volume of “;Nana i na Loea Hula: Look to the Hula Resources,”; published in 1984 by the Kalihi-Palama Culture & Arts Society.

In addition are portraits of kumu hula honored with the Governor's Award, costumes from kapa makers Moana Eisele and Ka'iulani de Silva, and a video from the Hula Preservation Society.

Local artist Solomon Enos' illustrations from the book “;The Epic of Hi'iakaikapoliopele,”; an origin story of hula, also are exhibited, as well as hula implements on loan from the hula society and Bishop Museum.

At tonight's First Friday celebration, Live from the Lawn, there will be hula performances by Halau Mohala 'Ilima with kumu hula Mapuana de Silva, Halau Hula ka No'eau with kumu Michael Pili Pang, and Halau Pua Ali'i 'Ilima with kumu Vicky Holt Takamine.

Le Crepe Cafe, Hank's Haute Dogs, Land of Organica and Soul de Cuba Cafe join Downtown @ the HiSAM to provide a variety of food and drink.





        » Where: Chinatown arts district

» When: 5 to 9 p.m. today, with after-hours events continuing past midnight


» Call: 521-2903





        » Hip-hop and visual artist Nabahe Benally shows his work at Otto Cake (1160 Smith St., 834-6886) starting tonight. Benally's paintings grace the homes of art collectors as well as galleries worldwide. The solo show runs through Oct. 1.

» “;Act II: Another Chance for Fashion,”; a fundraiser for Hawaii Opera Theatre, takes place at the ground floor of Marks Garage (22 S. Pauahi St.,, with gently used couture and casual wear at bargain-hunter prices.


» “;Slow News International”; at the ARTS at Marks Garage (1159 Nuuanu Ave., 521-2903) features scrolls sent via snail mail from all over the globe. Also, 30 photographs from youth of Healthy-Bound Chinatown, trained by the Honolulu Academy of Arts' Art to Go program.


» SoHo Mixed Media Bar (80 S. Pauahi St., holds its grand-opening celebration, featuring complimentary signature cocktails from 5 to 9 p.m. Music provided by the Jump-offs and DJ Revise + the Nocturnal Sound Krew.


» The work of KTUH deejay David Evans is featured at Black Cat Studios (1157 Bethel St., 524-7580). His acrylics on canvas will be presented alongside live music and cocktails.




“;Last year it all started coming together,”; says Wanda Anae-Onishi, “;Ho'oulu”; curator and collections manager for the Art in Public Places program. “;We began planning in 2003 with Frances Haar's works, and it evolved into something bigger. We wanted to recognize people for their contributions to hula.”;

The expansion of the show's theme led to the inclusion of portraits from the hula book and those of the kumu awarded the Governor's Award.

“;These folks were cited by people in the book as their own teachers,”; says Anae-Onishi. “;So there's a lot of portraiture.”;

But the show's scope kept growing.

“;We thought maybe we could devote an entire section to telling one origin story of hula,”; she says.

As such, Enos' illustrations were a natural fit.

The video, kapa and hula implements round out the exhibit.

“;Ho'oulu”; has turned out to be a timely show in the context of current proposed budgetary cuts by Gov. Linda Lingle, which would include layoffs to most of the staff at the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the department that oversees the Art in Public Places program.

The show illustrates the far-reaching impact State Foundation programs have on Hawaii's cultural life: The Art in Public Places collection provides a framework for the show, and staffer Anae-Onishi curated. The Kalihi-Palama organization, Hula Preservation Society and Bishop Museum have all been recipients of the foundation's biennium grants. The Governor's Awards are organized courtesy of the foundation's Individual Artists coordinator, while the kapa makers were participants in the Folk Arts program.

“;There is relevance now,”; Anae-Onishi admits. “;The State Foundation helps individuals and organizations practice their culture and arts.”;







» Originally, this article mistakenly referred to artist Mataumu Alisa as Alisa Mataumu. Also, the article incorrectly stated that Alisa's work was included in the section of the exhibit dealing with the Hi'iaka creation story.