Each year, the exhibition explores the notion of ʻcontact’ as it relates to the Hawaiian Islands, its people and their experiences. This year’s theme was Foreign and Familiar, exploring themes of cultural exchange and migratory movements, in and out of Hawaiʻi, not attached to any particular time period in Hawaiʻiʻs history. Much of the work reflects on personal narratives of heritage and connection.
In this year’s call for artists, exhibition curators Herman Piʻikea Clark and Isabella Ellaheh Hughes implored 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 21 st century society. Hughes said, “It is an honor to be serving with Pi‘ikea as one of this year's jurors for CONTACT. The thematic approach results in an exhibition format that offers a great sense of curatorial cohesion and breadth—particularly distinctive for a juried show. This year, CONTACT is thematically linked through a focus on the concepts of 'Foreign and Familiar'; and in turn, how these concepts have impacted artists' own relationships with Hawai‘i and the socio-cultural, political, ecological and economic landscape of the Islands.”
The exhibition will feature work by artists including Bernice Akamine, ʻImaikalani Kalāhele, Sonny Ganaden and Joshua Lake, PARADISE COVE, Michelle Schwengel-Regala and Deanna Gabiga, Chelsea Kahea Field, Nanea Lum, Jan Becket, Momi Greene, Kamran Samimi, Lauren Trangmar, Jane Chang Mi, AJ Feducia, Monica Woolsey, Shelly Amine and Sheanae Tam.
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 DAWSON Art Project. The CONTACT exhibition is organized by Maoli Arts Alliance (MAʻA) an initiative of Pu‘uhonua Society. For more information, please visit www.contacthawaii.com.