HONOLULU -- Works by some of Korea's top artists -- billed as the
largest display of contemporary Korean art ever shown outside Korea
-- will be featured through Nov. 16 at art museums and galleries on
Oahu as part of a display called "Crossings 2003: Korea/Hawaii."
"Some of the art is as cutting-edge as it gets," said Tom Klobe,
Crossings coordinator and director of the University of Hawaii Art
Gallery. "People will be surprised to see the work that is coming
out of Korea. We might shake things up a bit with this
The exhibit contains pieces such as a Christ figure covered in
sequins, sculptures made from vermicelli and a barbed-wire
On display at Honolulu Hale (City Hall) is a piece titled "A
Mirror Woman," which features a circular mirrored floor surrounded
by a tall tube of scrim that rises to the skylight, revealing
clouds at the top.
Artist Kimsooja compared it to the immigrant experience of
entering a new realm, and guests are invited to walk inside.
The show's primary goal is to draw more attention to Hawaii's
vibrant art scene, Klobe said.
"We're certainly evaluating what we can do to help the state
economically in terms of attracting tourists," he said a few days
before the exhibit's grand opening Sept. 14.
"We're trying to let the world know what is happening
artistically and culturally in Hawaii. We're much more proactive
than we were 10 years ago."
Museums and galleries also want to get the word out early so art
enthusiasts can arrange their travel plans around specific
The Halekulani offers free tickets to museums and galleries to
guests (and symphony tickets are excellent, they tell me).
This year, an estimated 80,000 visitors will view the paintings,
drawings, sculptures, photography, mixed media, high tech and
multimedia associated with Crossings.
"The arts and culture are vital to our visitor industry, and
it's growing in importance," said Les Enderton, interim president
and CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. "We're not
just a beach and palm tree destination; our cultural resources are
Enderton added that the HVCB is trying to promote existing
cultural events to attract visitors during the shoulder
Plans include a big push for an art season in the Islands next
spring, before the traditionally strong summer months.
"Unlike festivals in the mainland, where there might be one
theme, the idea of this season is to celebrate Hawaii's diversity
and the various things to see and experience -- such as cultural
events, Kabuki theater, hula festivals, symphony, opera and food
events -- and to give people another reason to come during that
time," said Frank Haas, director of marketing for the Hawaii
Gallery hours, admission information and a schedule of exhibits,
lectures and programs can be found at www.hawaii.edu/artgallery/crossings.
To contact reporter Katherine Nichols, send e-mail to [email protected].