Contact Zone: Ami Network Installation – Progress Report I

I love working on larger scale projects. They often grow to take on a life of their own,  my original idea becoming stonger, and then distilling that idea to its most focused message. Ami Network is for the upcoming show Contact 2018. Please be patient as I really need to work on my photography skills or learn how to create artwork that is easier to photograph =) Ami Network has been two years in the making with the original thoughts regarding nets & networks after having met several ghost net artists combined with receiving a large amount of colored telephone wire. The plastic coating, in great color combinations over copper wire, is lovely to work with, easy to crochet, and easy to use in the handmade traditional hi'a. Ami Network is an autobiographical piece, a visual of my connections with people both near and far from my personal Contact Zone with Hawai'i. I began with a couple of ideas as to how to complete my Ami Network installation and I have tested those ideas. I was greatly concerned my original tapestry idea would be just a messy hodgepodge so I felt it needed some kind of order such as presenting it in a chandelier form. The more work I completed on the ghost net and telephone wire tapestry section, the happier I have become with it.  The chandelier idea started out great, but after much work, a fair amount of tweaking, I realized, the end result would simply be more, not better. Therefore I am editing back down to one of my original presentation simply a large, beautiful tapestry. Contact Hawaii 2018 runs from April 6 - 22 in various locations on Oahu. You can follow my day to day progress via Instagram: Studio Deanna Abbreviated Artist Statement - Stitching the fabric of a loose kind of tapestry starting with Ghost Nets(fishing nets) collected on the beaches; drifting, washing ashore, battered, collected, a piecing together of community. I will be adding to the Ghost Net pieces with the techniques I learned in the Net Making class at Na Mea. The word for both netting and network in Japanese is ami, which is also the word for things made of yarn. It is knit groups in both countries that has helped me stitch a life together. I continue to grapple with my impact in Hawai’i, on the planet, with my…

Happenings @729Studios in Hawai’i

A great time of year to be back creating artwork in my Honolulu studio space.  Received the wonderful news my proposal for Contact 2018 (Contact Zone) has been accepted so I have been madly working to bring my vision into fruition. [wpvideo uHLy7OXe ] These are photos of the last days in my larger, light filled studio space. We are having big changes happening to 729 Studios in Kaka'ako, I know they are a good idea for the long term but I will miss the bright daylight I am losing by my move to a different space within the studios. My lovely studio space is changing into a gorgeous gallery space and I'm looking forward to seeing artwork from various artists activating the space. Despite my cranky, jet-lagged mood, my friend Chloe @chloetomomi has been keeping me company and making me laugh in studio as she continues to improve her watercolor and acrylic painting skills. Follow her on Instagram and check out her newly created website: In the new smaller studio space I am framing my Endangered Oceans ghost net fiber project for the Punahou Carnival Art Show fundraiser which is coming up the first weekend in February. Also, sketching octopus for both my upcoming cookbook and an art book idea for display in England for World Art Book Day, March 1st. Oh, and sending out a few more proposal ideas...wish me luck!

Yokohama Triennale 2017 – Part II of II

Read Part I of II click here. The big surprise for me at this exhibition was video art. Haven't been a big fan of it, Sometimes I'll manage to sit through a short video, but I hadn't been wow-ed until this show. At the Yokohama Museum of Art, Zhao Zhao's 120min video of getting a refrigerator into the Taklamakan Desert is not my idea of a way to spend 2 hours of my life. However, with an understanding of short attention spans, Zhao Zhao's video was split into nine repeating segments. So one can see where the video is going without standing around for 2 hours wondering what he is doing with this electric cable and refrigerator in the middle of a desert.   [caption id="attachment_75456" align="aligncenter" width="2448"] by Zhao Zhao[/caption] After taking the free shuttle bus to the Red Brick Warehouse we saw the work of Terunuma Atsuro. This artist chose to integrate the video & digital work into the paintings. One piece, Mienai Nozomi, contained a video monitor and a digital photo frame. Whereas the other colorful piece, Mieteru Nozomu, had a fun video projection bringing the painting to life. [gallery ids="75455,75454,75453" type="rectangular"] The best video installation was by Ragnar Kjartansson from Iceland. A completely enclosed room with about eight large screens shows musicians each in their own room of a home, playing a beautiful musical piece together. Only connected with each other by what they hear through the headphones. The details are haunting, mysterious, as one seeks to learn where they are, and laughing at grandpa in his lawn chair. One wonders who is conducting and in the end it doesn't matter so much to the viewer as does the connection being made. [gallery ids="75451,75452,75449" type="rectangular"]      

Who me?!

Really there? Yes, I'm really there on the Honolulu Museum of Art's website for Contact Hawai'i 2016 along with many other wonderful artists living in Hawai'i. The pillar art on the building front is by TUTUVI. Exhibition Overview For the third year, Pu‘uhonua Society’s Maoli Arts Alliance presents its juried contemporary art exhibition Contact, featuring new and recent artworks by Hawai‘i artists. Each year jurors select artworks that explore themes of “contact,” and this year’s show especially looks at cultural exchange and migratory movements, with many of the artists reflecting on personal narratives of heritage and connection. This year’s show include seven new artworks commissioned for Contact 2016supported by funding from grant sponsors, and will also feature a number of site‐specific works. Artists in the exhibition include Bernice Akamine, Kaui Chun, Sonny Ganaden, Joshua Lake, Linny Morris, Paradise Cove, Jerry Vasconcellos, Nina Yuen, Tomiko Jones, Mahi La Pierre, Solomon Enos, Kahi Ching, Michelle Schwengel-Regala, Deanna Gabiga, TUTUVI, Jan Becket, Olivier Koning and Diana Lehr. I'm really excited to be a part of this show as I am learning a lot about what it means to live in Hawai'i. The real Hawai'i, not the Hawai'i that is in the mind of a tourist. This culturally rich exhibition will be really informative for me as I meet more artists living here and learn their stories through their art. Check out the "pineapple tree" by Jerry Vasconcellos. No, pineapples don't grow on trees!! In just two years, Contact has established itself as one of the leading platforms for contemporary island artists to exhibit their work. For this year’s exhibition, curators Herman Piʻikea Clark and Isabella Ellaheh Hughes asked artists to think about the intersection between the foreign and the familiar and the relationship between intimacy and interdependence that has come to define Hawai‘i as a place, a people, and a 21st-century society. Contact 2016 is made possible by generous funding from the Atherton Family Foundation, Cooke Foundation, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs, as well as through the kind support from its partners: Honolulu Museum of Art School, Nā Mea Hawai‘i, and WCIT Architecture. The exhibition is organized by Maoli Arts Alliance (MAʻA) an initiative of Pu‘uhonua Society. For more information, please visit This show runs through April 17 so please stop by the Honolulu Museum of Art School on Victoria Street. There are several events on schedule that can enhance your visit: Admission is free and open…

What is Contact 2016: Foreign and Familiar?

Why did Michelle and I choose to participate in this show?  From the website: Foreign and Familiar focuses on the experiences of communities that have migrated to and from Hawai‘i, and the subsequent impact that this amalgam of cultures has imparted on our Islands. We both now call Hawaii home, she has been here for a decade and I am a recent transplant after spending over a decade in Japan. Our mutual interest in the natural environment has led us to explore our new home and we see the effects of the ever growing population. The theme of Foreign and Familiar spoke to me as I am supposed to be familiar to life here in the US but as I've never lived in Hawaii before I feel as if a foreigner. In learning about many of the amazing plants growing here on this tropical island, they are just as foreign as I. Some have learned to share the limited space and work with other plants in the environment, yet others take over those that are already here, they become invasive. It had me wondering how I can grow to fit here in Hawaii. I'd like the viewer to ask themselves how they fit here on this overcrowded island. 6 days until opening, 3 days until install, I'm giving my burned out crochet hooks a rest and using my sewing machine instead:  Stop by the Honolulu Museum of Art School starting Thursday, March 24 at 5PM. Our work will be on the 2nd Floor mezzanine. The show will continue through April 17. We can also be found on Instagram: StudioDeanna and SpamKNITsubi

7 Days Until Contact 2016 Opening…

...but only 4 days until installation begins! My stitch partner, Michelle, and I had a face to face today and I got to see the thought she put into her fiber choices for the kahuli, Hawaiian Tree Snails. They really do have their own sparkle!  The combined textile and wire vine design I created met with her approval and we think will address concerns about damage a purely wire crocheted vine may cause.  Tonight I'm taking inventory of completed leaf sizes and prioritizing the remaining partially completed pieces. This has been an intense project for my favorite Clover double ended crochet hooks and I have been very happy with how well they have held up. But, yes, they now have a groove from the heavy workload.    Contact 2016: Foreign & Familiar opens on Thursday, March 24 from 5-8PM at Honolulu Museum of Art School. 

Less than 8 Days!

I've been counting down until the opening night of Contact 2016 at the Honolulu Museum of Art School. In reality, our artwork  needs to be completed and installed before then, this Monday or Tuesday.  Making our countdown at 5 work days! Eek! Michelle offers us a color tease regarding her next part in our art installation...   Today's art adventure took me to the fabric store. First time to this store for me and thankfully found a workable fabric.    Yes, it's green. The search was for color, less so for style. A bit of sewing is best to take a break from the daily heavy wire crochet work.  My first results:      Stop back to see what we accomplish with only 7 days before the opening, or visit us on Instagram: Studio Deanna and spamKNITsubi