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Choi Jeong Hwa, Breathing Flower, 2015 at the IBM Building in Honolulu for the inaugural Honolulu Biennial. Photo: Chris Rohrer. Courtesy of the Honolulu Biennial Foundation.

Honolulu Biennial to Become a Triennial

The Honolulu Biennial Foundation (HBF) is restructuring and will relaunch as a triennial, now opening in February 2022. Melissa Chiu, the director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, was previously announced as the curatorial director of the third edition of the festival, which will now host a symposium as a preview of the event in February 2021.

“After two successful editions of Honolulu Biennial, we have been reflecting on the most dynamic and optimal model to best serve the needs of our community and be of relevance within the global contemporary art ecosystem,” the foundation’s board of directors said in a joint statement. “We have determined that evolving into a triennial format is the best step forward as we move into this new decade.”

When the biennial held its inaugural edition in 2017, it welcomed nearly 100,000 visitors. Established to promote works from the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas, the exhibition was a success—according to a release, the event had an impact of $35.5 million on the local economy. The second edition of the biennial, “To Make Wrong / Right / Now,” featured forty-seven artists, drew 115,000 visitors, and doubled the previous edition’s impact on the economy.

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