Upcoming Exhibitions

Uchima Ansei: Non-objective Abstraction in Modern Japanese Prints

The American Scene

July 7 - October 2, 2016

Exhibition Overview

Through a selection of prints from the museum’s permanent collection, this exhibition traces the proliferation of Realism in America between the two World Wars, when American artists, seeking to picture national identity, turned to representational modes to celebrate the complexity of the country’s characteristic spaces. Many of them—such as Edward Hopper, Charles Demuth, Martin Lewis, and Raphael Soyer—were captivated by the city, and they explored novel compositional and technical devices to record the complexity and psychic intensity of their surroundings. In their work, the precision of etching was marshalled to capture the streamlined aloofness and imposing technology of American architecture, and the tonal variances of aquatint became equivalents for urban isolation. 

During the Depression, the shifting metropolitan environment endured in the work of Armin Landeck, Isabel Bishop, Mabel Dwight, and Reginald Marsh, while Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood developed regionalist styles that reflected the outsized myths and received narratives of the agrarian outlands. Their emphasis on this instantly recognizable and easily accessible “American Scene” guaranteed them work on government-sponsored public art projects and ensured the purchase of their reasonably priced prints by an increasingly cash-strapped public. By the end of the Depression, however, interest in Realism and its democratic ethos was waning, as the individualism of abstraction was being revived by a new generation of artists.

Visions of Gothic Angels: Japanese Manga by Takaya Miou  August 25, 2016 - January 15, 2017
Exhibition Overview

Manga—Japanese graphic novels or comics—play a vital role in contemporary Japanese culture. Not only do they enjoy immense popularity (annual sales within Japan have risen to more than $2 billion); internationally, they have become the centerpiece of the Japanese government's “Cool Japan Initiative,” a campaign to promote its status as a cultural superpower. Manga’s popularity partly arises from the medium’s historical connection with Japanese woodblock prints and paintings (ukiyo-e), which were produced in Japan throughout the Edo period (1615–1868). The term manga, in fact, was coined by the renowned ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849).

The Honolulu Museum of Art’s exhibition series on contemporary Japanese manga, begun last year with Modern Love: 20th-Century Japanese Erotic Art (November 20, 2014–March 15, 2015), now continues with Visions of Gothic Angels: Japanese Manga by Takaya Miou. Takaya’s artwork explores themes of femininity and female identity through fantastic imagery originating from a wide variety of artistic traditions: Italian Renaissance portraits of Christian martyrs, the intricate Art Nouveau style of British illustrator Aubrey Beardsley (1872–1898), the surreal puppets of German sculptor Hans Bellmer (1902–1975), and the whimsical street fashion of Harajuku district in Tokyo.

In addition to an overview of the artist’s 25-year career, Visions of Gothic Angels: Japanese Manga by Takaya Miou focuses upon two anthologies, The Madness of Heaven (Tengoku kyō, 2001) and Map of Sacred Pain (Seishō-zu, 2001). Illustrations and short stories from these publications will be presented in a variety of formats: original drawings, printed books (tankobon), large-scale wall graphics, and digital works that visitors can read from cover to cover on iPads installed in the gallery.

Visions of Gothic Angels: Japanese Manga by Takaya Miou is curated by Stephen Salel, Curator of Japanese Art.

Yun-fei Ji

September 29, 2016 - February 5, 2017

Labels and wall text

Powerpoint presentation by Shawn 

Main ideas

Yun-feiJi’spainting is one of the best representations of the revolutionizing of traditional Chinese ink painting techniques in contemporary art

As the contemporary Chinese art market has developed, there has been a shift from artists working in foreign-influenced media such as oil painting and sculpture to artists inspired by traditional techniques and media

Ink painting has become the medium for some of the most innovative and creative expressions of contemporary Chinese art, and now is one of the most exciting areas of the art market and museum exhibitions

Contemporary Chinese ink painting has become internationalized through the transformation of its subject matter, which is especially well represented through Yun-feiJi’sinterest in the importance of water around the world and the impact of natural disasters having to do with water

Yun-feiJi’s work is highly politicized, with a strong awareness of the social impact of government policy (this has resulted in the censorship of his paintings in China)

Karen Hampton: The Journey North 

October 20 - April 23, 2017

Member's Magazine


Abstract Expressionism: Looking east from the Far West

September 6, 2017

Synopsis of possible images

Chen, Chan, Chen 
September 30 - March 12, 2017

Diane Chen KW is a ceramic artist who was formerly a physician and epidemiologist. Her artwork is in the permanent collections of the Honolulu Museum of Art (Honolulu, HI), the Groninger Museum (Groningen, NL) the Nanchong Museum of Ceramic Arts (Nanchong, China), the Cape Ann Museum (Gloucester, MA), the Museum of Fine Arts (St. Petersburg, FL) and the Florida Holocaust Museum (St. Petersburg, FL). 


Gaye Chan is a professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Her work has been exhibited at Art in General (New York City, NY), Articule (Montreal, Canada), Artspeak (Vancouver, Canada), Asia Society, (New York City, NY), Gallery 4A (Sydney, Australia), Honolulu Museum of Art (Honolulu, HI),  SF Camerawork (San Francisco, CA),  Southern Exposure (San Francisco, CA), YYZ Artist Outlet (Toronto, Canada). She is a recipient of a 2015 Art Matter Grant and have been supported by Creative Capital.


Constance Chen Liu is a ceramic artist and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Her work has been exhibited in many local and regional exhibitions.  She teaches ceramic transfer techniques at the Hawai‘i Potters Guild and mentors students as a volunteer at the University of Hawaii ceramic studios.

Imayo: Japan's New Traditionists

October 13, 2016 - January 8, 2017

Shahzia Sikander: Parallax 

March 16, 2017 – July 30, 2017 (tentative)

Gallery 27 (tentative), 3,000 square feet

Shawn Eichman

Internationally recognized, Pakistani-born American artist Shahzia Sikander is best known for her experimentation with the formal constructs of Indo-Persian miniature painting in a variety of formats and mediums, including video, animation, mural and collaboration with other artists. Over the years, she has pioneered an interpretive and critically charged approach to the anachronistic genre of miniature painting. Underpinning the work is also Sikander’s interest in paradox, societies in flux, and formal and visual disruption as a means to cultivate new associations.

Focusing on the Strait of Hormuz and the area’s historical power tensions, the animation Parallax is inspired by the idea of conflict and control. Drawn elements come together to create dissonance and disruption. Abstract, representational and textual forms coexist and jostle for domination. Spheres made of hair spin and sing, Christmas trees made of valves and spools spout, while undulating color fields create pitch and fervor and large swaths of static noise erupt into flocks. Human voices recite and narrate, creating tension and rhythm while oscillating between audible texts and the environmental sounds. Visual vocabulary is culled from drawings and paintings to construct the animation, giving the motifs and symbols a shifting identity as they come together to re-create meaning within the digital space. In her current practice, drawing and animation are interlinked and inform each other. Ideas housed on paper are put into motion. Patterns of thinking and movement are worked out via drawing. Moving between these two mediums is a way for her to see and convey multiple sides to a situation. The resulting shift in perspective functions as a vantage point highlighting the distance between two locations namely drawing and animation. Translation thus emerges as a concept. Text embedded in the drawings also functions as a tool to further explore ideas around translation, as in translation’s relationship to a tradition, and tradition with all its inherent redactions. Sikander received her BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, grants and fellowships, including the inaugural Medal of Art by the US State Department (2012), the John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation Achievement award (2006-2011); the National Pride of Honor by the Pakistani Government (2005), the Joan Mitchell award (1998-999), and the Tiffany Foundation award (1997). She lives and works in New York City.

Shazia Sikander

March 16, 2017 - July 20, 2017

Monet, Whistler, and the Painting of Modern Life
2018    Synopsis

Li Huayi 
2018 Synopsis