Honolulu Biennial is Set to Launch Inaugural Edition in March 2017

Fumio Nanjo will organize the show, taking place throughout the city.

Yayoi Kusama, Footprints of Life (2016). Courtesy of Yayoi Kusama.
Yayoi Kusama, Footprints of Life (2016). Courtesy of Yayoi Kusama.

Thanks to the growing number of art fairs and biennials on the international art scene, dedicated art lovers have an increasingly busy travel schedule. The latest event to pencil into your calendar is the Honolulu Biennial, which has announced that it will hold its inaugural edition March 8–May 8, 2017.

That means that the Honolulu Biennial’s opening slots in neatly between the Armory Show in New York (March 2–5) and Art Basel in Hong Kong (March 23–25).

Yayoi Kusama, "Footprints of Life," 2016, co-presented by Honolulu Biennial Foundation, Howard Hughes Corporation and Ward Village. Courtesy of AJ Feducia.

Yayoi Kusama, Footprints of Life (2016), co-presented by Honolulu Biennial Foundation, Howard Hughes Corporation and Ward Village. Courtesy of AJ Feducia.

The Honolulu Biennial Foundation announced the formation of the show in September 2014, with a planned start date of 2016. The exhibition’s curatorial director, Fumio Nanjo, the director of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, has been attached to the project since that time.

The most recent announcement finally provides specifics. Titled “Middle of Now | Here,” the biennial will present contemporary art throughout various historic, public, and cultural locations. The initial list of venues includes Honolulu Hale (city hall), the Foster Botanical Garden, the McCoy Pavilion, Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, and Chinatown’s Arts at Marks Garage and Pegge Hopper Gallery.

The biennial has named Ngahiraka Mason, the former curator of Indigenous art and Maori art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, as curator. The curatorial advisory board includes scholars Greg Dvorak, Katherine Higgins, and Margo Machida.

Foster Botanical Garden. Courtesy of the Foster Botanical Garden.

Foster Botanical Garden. Courtesy of the Foster Botanical Garden.

The biennial will showcase Native Hawaiian artists and locally-based artists. The event will also focus on the broader Pacific region, featuring emerging, midcareer, and leading national and international artists from countries and continents in those parts of the globe.

To date, the biennial has announced the participation of MAP Office (Hong Kong), Brett Graham (New Zealand), Les Filter Feeders (Hawaii), Charlton Kupa’a Hee (Hawaii), Fiona Pardington (New Zealand), Yuki Kihara (New Zealand/Samoa), Mohammed Kazem (U.A.E.), Andrew Binkley (Hawaii), and Yayoi Kusama (Japan). An exhaustive list of artists will be released in the fall.

The Honolulu Biennial, “Middle of Now | Here,” will be on view March 8–May 8, 2017. 


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