Honolulu, Oʻahu Hawaiʻi
Installed in commercial businesses in Honolulu’s Chinatown, Ei Arakawa’s three site-specific LED works question the the global proliferation of contemporary art biennials, triennials, and festivals in the twenty-first century. What does it mean for artists to make works for places and contexts that are utterly foreign to them? Arakawa’s poetic works, presented on hand constructed LED screens, appropriate the curatorial concepts unique to three global biennials and challenge the “ritual” of biennial culture today.
Ei Arakawa + students from Harvard University with Kumu Hina
Ei Arakawa returned in early April, along with a group of his own students from Harvard University, for a mini-residency. Over 5 rigorous days, the group of young artists visited all of the Honolulu Biennial sites; had formal conversations with Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners including Kumu Hina and ʻīmaikalani Kalāhele; and initiated a performative collaboration with fellow students of UH Mānoa Art Professor Peter Chamberlain. Titled “WINDOW BOUNCE”; the students acted as performers, spontaneous collaborators, and audience for each other in an hour-long procession throughout Chinatown; followed by a discussion and self-critique of their experience. TRADES is especially grateful to Harvard University, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu Biennial Foundation, John Esguerra/Single Double, Ei Arakawa and a generous patron of contemporary art; all of whom made this residency possible.