Mori Art Museum Director Will Curate the First Honolulu Biennial

Fumio Nanjo Photo by Joi via: Wikimedia Commons
Fumio Nanjo Photo by Joi via: Wikimedia Commons

The director of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, Fumio Nanjo, will curate the inaugural Honolulu Biennial, slated for 2016.

The Honolulu Biennial Foundation was co-founded by Dr Kóan Jeff Baysa and Isabella Ellaheh Hughes, who hope the high-profile event will contribute to launch Hawaii on “the global contemporary art scene,” reports Art Radar.

“We are interested in bringing artists from outside Hawaii who rarely get exhibited here, as well as offering Hawaii-based artists the opportunity to interface with a wider arts audience,” the pair states on the press release. “The combination of the multifaceted, multicultural history, and the geopolitical locus as the true meeting point between the Asian continent, Oceania and the Americas, make for a truly rigorous site for artistic innovation and exploration.”

Fumio is well placed to take on the challenge. At the helm of Japan’s premier contemporary art museum since 2006, the curator and academic has been involved in several large-scale events, including the Asia-Pacific Triennial in Brisbane (2006), the Singapore Biennale (2006), and the Yokohama Triennale (2001).

Nanjo is already familiar with the issues that will be explored at the Honolulu Biennial. In 2011, he led a symposium at the Honolulu Museum of Art entitled “Asia’s Hot Art Spots: What Is Hawaii’s Role.”

The Honolulu Biennial will be preceded by “Chain of Fire: The Prologue Exhibition for the 2016 Honolulu Biennial,” an exhibition co-curated by Dr Baysa and Hughes, and organized in collaboration with the Hawaii International Film Festival. It will be inaugurated on October 30, 2014 and feature artists including Sama Alshaibi, Paul Pfeiffer, and Adrienne Keahi Pao.


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