Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Textile Exhibit at Bishop Museum

Bishop Museum Textile Exhibition set for Fall 2008 Presentation coincides
with the Textile Society of America Event

'Ili Iho: The Surface Within, an exhibition of exquisite and rare textile treasures from the Bishop Museum paired with contemporary new works by Hawaiian artists, opens in Bishop Museum’s J.M. Long Gallery September 13, 2008 and remains on view through January 11, 2009. Regular admission fees apply.

'Ili Iho: The Surface Within will explore, from an indigenous perspective, four textile treasures from Bishop Museum: a magnificent feathered cloak, fine makaloa mat, intricate kapa, and moving protest quilt. Guest curated by Hawaiian artist and University of Hawai‘i associate professor Maile Andrade, this exhibit will invite eight contemporary Hawaiian artists to explore these ancestral creations, creating their own works that delve into the surfaces within. ‘Ili Iho thus considers how thin the veil between the past and present; the traditional and contemporary – revealing how surface the surface truly is.

'Ili, the surface, as expansive and textured as the earth and ocean. 'Ili, our skin, as dark as kou, as fragrant as sandalwood. 'Ili, our land, as large as a valley, as small as a pebble. For what is on the surface reveals but a fraction of that which is within. The stories of Hawaiian featherworkers, weavers, kapa makers and quilters cannot be found in the study of fibers, but rather in the myriad of reasons why they created, who they revered and who they inspired.

Andrade is a native of Makaha, whose family roots are in Molokai, Hawaii, and Kauai. A multi-media artist, she has a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Hawaii-Manoa, and is an Associate Professor at Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, developing a Native Hawaiian Visual Culture Program. Andrade has received a variety of academic awards and has participated in numerous indigenous symposiums and gatherings. Through the exhibition of her works locally, nationally and internationally, Andrade has raised the prominence and appreciation of Native Hawaiian visual arts.

The exhibit, which runs from September 13, 2008 – January 11, 2009, coincides with the 11th Biennial Textile Society of America Symposium being held September 24 - 27, 2008. This international event, whose theme is Textiles as Cultural Expressions, will draw hundreds of curators, scholars, dealers, experts, and students. There will be a city-wide schedule of exhibitions featuring rare textiles from the collections of Bishop Museum, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Shangri La, University of Hawai‘i, Mission Houses, Queen Emma Summer Palace, and others. The exhibitions will be on view at galleries and museum venues throughout Honolulu. An International Textile Marketplace will be held at the Sheraton Waikiki and will be open to the public. Attendance at the Textile Symposium is by registration only. To register, visit www.textilesociety.org .

Andrade is a featured speaker at the Symposium. This exhibit will “put into practice” what she discusses in her Symposium presentation. Issues considered will include: native practitioner as scholar and expert and the responsibilities and burdens of the observer and the creator. This exhibit makes imperative the role of the native community in interpreting and understanding their own material culture.

Other exhibition components will include a multi-media piece featuring interviews with the artists, an exhibition pamphlet, a panel discussion on September 25, 2008, and daily guided tours.

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