Note: Hale Pai is no longer being published. These archives of passed issues will remain available as long as there is interest. - Courtesy of San Jose Web


Hale Pai
Pacific American-News Journal

`Aukake - August 1996 Volume 2 Issue 8

Burke Museum Hosts

First Native Hawaiian Art Exhibit To Tour Mainland

“We communicate a more authentic view of Hawaii - more true to its heritage.” - Rocky Jensen, Hawaiian Sculptor

On view at the Burke Museum at the University of Washington is the first native Hawaiian art exhibit to tour the mainland: Maui's Turning Back the Sky: Contemporary Hawaiian Art. The exhibit will run from October 3, 1996 - January 26, 1997. It comes here after a successful 16-week stint at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

The show features the work of 10 artists of Hawaiian descent through 50 multimedia pieces including watercolor, oil, acrylic, pen-and-ink, stone and wood sculpture, ceramics, shell and fiber art, and photography. The exhibit illustrates Hawaiian history, family genealogy, astronomy, and the navigational disciplines of Polynesian peoples - truly evoking a continuous and living tradition.

“The theme of Maui's Turning Back the Sky,” says Lucia Tarallo-Jensen, guest curator of the exhibit, “is the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands by the great explorer, Maui, and the traditions that resulted thereafter.” Turning Back the Sky is a phrase used in astronomy referring to the ability of a planetarium to show the sky as it was at a precise moment in time - in this case 2,000 years ago to the era of the ancestral Polynesian Chief Maui and his travels of discovery throughout the Pacific Ocean.

Rocky Ka'iouliokahihikolo' Jensen, one of Hawaii's leading traditional sculptors, is a driving force behind the exhibit and the rebirth of traditional arts in Hawaii. Born and raised on Oahu, Jensen's desire to perpetuate Hawaiian history and culture has fueled his artistic career. “People do not understand that the artist's mind creates a symbol of their mana, their spiritual or divine power,” says Jensen. “For me, every mark, every curve has a specific, often spiritual or historic meaning - something that perpetuates the mana behind that piece.”

Maui's Turning Back the Sky was organized by Hale Naua III, the Society of Hawaiian Arts, founded by Lucia and Rocky Jensen in 1975 to foster Hawaiian culture, history, and religious traditions through works of art. Seattle's extensive Hawaiian community will be actively involved in programming for the exhibit.

For more information on the exhibit, call the 24-hour recorded information line: (206) 543-5590.

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Copyright 1996 Hale Pai Pacific American-News Journal
Last modified: February 28, 1998

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