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 =)

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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.

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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 ideas…as simply a large, beautiful tapestry.

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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 activities, both physically and with the people I meet. Is this life capturing culture as my unwitting victims? Or am I stitching a beautiful community together as is my hope?

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.

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: www.chloetomomi.com

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.

 

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by Zhao Zhao

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.

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.

 

 

 

Contact Hawaii Coloring Book for Keiki

For the upcoming family events, Contact Hawaii has had an artist create pages for a coloring book inspired by the artwork in the show. A great way to engage the little ones in a fun way. It turns out that one of the artists I recently met was tagged with the project and we got a sneak peek at the pages:

There are at least 8 different artists’ work represented on this specific page including “Invasives!”

I love that the artist, Stor, chose to draw in the foreign crochet stitches on my Philodendron leaves as a more familiar to him, traditional fishnet style! I have had the thought to translate colored wire into these handmade fishnet designs. Maybe it’s a sign?

  

Other artists included on the same page are: Paradise Cove, ‘Imaikalani Kanahele, and Cory Taum. As I connect the artist with the work I see, I’ll add them to this list.

Family event for keiki (children): CONTACT Keiki Workshop with Art Explorium
Saturday, April 2 • 10:30-11:30am
Join us for a keiki workshop exploring the themes of the exhibition with artist and illustrator Ricardo Avila, in partnership with Art Explorium.

Michelle and I hope you will bring your family to this event :)

 

 

 

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 www.contacthawaii.com.

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 to the public.

Opening Pāʻina
Thursday, March 24 • 5‐8pm
Join the exhibition’s artists and curators for a Hawaiian-style party, complete with great dialogue, pūpū, and music.

Artist Lunch Talks
Wednesdays beginning March 30
Noon‐1pm

Kūkākūkā: Curators’ Dialogue
Tuesday, March 29 • 6‐8pm
Listen in on ruminations, future visions, and observations by jurors and curators Herman Pi’ikea Clark and Isabella Ellaheh Hughes. Clark and Hughes will speak on their individual and collective experiences curating and jurying Foreign and Familiar. Participate in the dialogue as they navigate the curatorial point of contact that this exhibition framework provides.

Navigating the Divides of Contemporary Art in Hawai’i
Thursday, March 31 • 6pm
Listen in and join the dialogue with art critics, curators, and mischief-makers during a moderated discussion about what’s happening in Honolulu’s contemporary art world. Plan on expanding your understanding of art-making in Hawai’i today.

CONTACT Keiki Workshop with Art Explorium
Saturday, April 2 • 10:30-11:30am
Join us for a keiki workshop exploring the themes of the exhibition with artist and illustrator Ricardo Avila, in partnership with Art Explorium.

‘Awa and Storytellers
Saturday, April 2 • 5-8pm
We welcome you for a chance to learn about and participate in drinking ‘awa with us as we gather in a circle of storytelling led by Keala Kahuanui-Paleka. Drinking ‘awa is optional. You’re invited to listen to stories of three special guests from a variety of backgrounds, such as teachers, musicians, artists, and other active roles in the community who will share their unique experience with a special message to take home with you.

Panel led by Isabella Ellaheh Hughes
Tuesday, April 5 • 6‐8pm
Contact 2016 co‐curator Isabella Ellaheh Hughes leads a panel with a select group of artists participating in the exhibition. Artists to be announced.

Kalo Workshop with Bernice Akamine
Saturday, April 9 • 10am‐noon
Artist Bernice Akamine shares deeper insights into her work Kalo and its exploration of the Kūʻe: The Hui Aloha ʻāina Anti-Annexation Petitions 1897‐1898. She will facilitate a community workshop on repurposing and recycling materials for art making. Bernice was a recipient of inaugural Native Hawaiian Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation in 2015.

Visionary Hawai‘i: Thinking About This Place Through Other Means
Thursday, April 14 • 6pm
This panel will bring together a range of individuals who look toward the future of living in Hawai‘i through lenses that invite us to re-think established histories, media, and narratives. From video games to science fiction to radical approaches to the cultural archives at our disposal, these creatives, academics, and technologists seek new ways to think about the complex relationships that Hawai‘i embodies. The participants don’t necessarily see eye to eye—and this is no “celebration of diversity”—but they exist on a gradient that shares a common approach that challenges the backgrounds that they all claim and represent. Join us for a series of brief presentations and what promises to be rich and engaging dialogue.

What is Contact 2016: Foreign and Familiar?

Why did Michelle and I choose to participate in this show?

 From the www.contacthawaii.com 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.