The Honolulu Biennial Foundation has announced that Ngahiraka Mason will curate the inaugural edition of the exhibition, which will be held from March 8 to May 8, 2017. Mason, who served as the curator of indigenous art and Maori art at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in New Zealand for more than twenty years, collaborated with the biennial’s curatorial director Fumio Nanjo, director of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, to develop the theme and select the participating artists.
Titled “Middle of Now | Here,” the biennial focuses on how contemporary art from the Americas, the Pacific, and Asia can engage with the cultural diversity of Hawaii. The artists will be asked to reflect on how our landscapes and lives are in a constant state of change and transformation, in turbulent and contradictory ways, and on the archipelago’s role as a bridge between the East and the West in the twenty-first century.
Works in the biennial will be exhibited in various venues, including the city hall Honolulu Hale, Foster Botanical Garden, McCoy Pavilion, and the Arts at Marks Garage. An initial list of participating artists includes Brett Graham (New Zealand), Les Filter Feeders (Hawaii). Charlton Kupa’a Hee (Hawaii), Yuki Kihara (New Zealand/Samoa), Mohammed Kazem (UAE), and Yayoi Kusama (Japan). A full list of artists will be announced in the fall.