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Who is ready for the Middle of Here and Now?

Photo+Credit%3A+Taylor+McKenzie
Photo Credit: Taylor McKenzie

Photo Credit: Taylor McKenzie

Photo Credit: Taylor McKenzie

Taylor McKenzie

 

For local art lovers, the Honolulu Biennial is a breath of fresh air for our traditionally ignored modern art scene. The international art festival makes its debut as the first “large scale international arts festival” gracing the shores of Oahu.

Isabella Hughes, co founder of Honolulu Biennial, passionately explained the purpose of international art festivals on Saturday at a news conference.

“We are telling Hawaiian history through art,” Hughes said. She is no stranger to our island’s history, her background includes a formal education at Punahou and impromptu lessons at the Honolulu Academy of Art.

To Hughes, art is more than a form of expression; it is a medium for international conversations. Inspired by biennales in Japan and Singapore, the Honolulu Biennial intends to change the stereotypes of Hawaiian art. The Middle of Now And Here, the theme for the 2017 festival, portrays the sentiment that Hawaii is not in the middle of nowhere, but rather the center of art. Already, this organization is changing how locals view art through public artist presentations, keiki coloring books and free zine workshops.

To the crowd, Hughes posed the question, “Why is it that artists from here are unknown?” The reason, she proposed, is that curators from around the world are not experiencing authentic Hawaiian art. To change this we need to start an international conversation to “connect all generations and let the world know what’s coming.”

The conversation starts with us, here on the island. It starts with an artistic revolution in our education and how we view the world with the help of art. Hughes believes that this new form of thinking should be supported by “going to as many exhibits as possible,” and attending biennials such as The Middle of Here and Now.

Photo Credit: Taylor McKenzie

Photo Credit: Taylor McKenzie

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