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  • Jan 27, 2023

Weekly News Roundup: January 27, 2023

Photo of (left to right) WASSAN AL-KHUDHAIRI, BINNA CHOI, and NOELLE M.K.Y. KAHANU. Courtesy Haiwaii Contemporary.

Curator Trio to Lead the 2025 Hawai‘i Triennial

On January 23, Hawai‘i Contemporary named Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Binna Choi, and Noelle M.K.Y. Kahanu as curators of the next Hawai‘i Triennial, slated for February 15 to May 4, 2025. The trio boasts decades of experience and individual specialties. Most recently the chief curator at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Al-Khudhairi was also curator at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama and the founding director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar. She co-curated the 6th Asian Art Biennial in Taiwan (2017) and co-directed the 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012). Choi, the director of Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons in Utrecht, co-curated the ongoing Singapore Biennale, “Natasha,” and the 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016). Kahanu is an associate specialist in the public humanities and Native Hawaiian Programs at the University of Hawai‘i, exploring the liberating possibilities of museums. Previously, she developed programs and exhibitions at Honolulu’s Bishop Museum, and served as counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Selected by Hawai‘i Contemporary’s board of directors, artistic directors emeriti, and global art advisors from 40 nominees, the three will “offer a diverse and deep knowledge base” and a “collaborative approach to curating.”

Installation view of KENJIRO OKAZAKI’s Mount Ida – The boy Paris is still shepherding, 1994, iron, fluorocarbon polymer coating, 4 × 25 × 4 m, at Faret Tachikawa. Courtesy the artist.

Key Public Sculpture in Japan’s “Town of Public Art” To Be Preserved

After facing threats of removal due to urban redevelopment plans, Kenjiro Okazaki’s public sculpture in the Faret Tachikawa art town in Tokyo, Mount Ida – The boy Paris is still shepherding (1994), will be preserved at its original location. The sculpture was scheduled for removal after February to facilitate the renovation of the neighboring Takashimaya Tachikawa department store. The artist expressed deep disappointment regarding the planned removal on his website. An outpouring of public support for Okazaki and calls for the preservation of Mount Ida, including a request submitted by the Japanese branch of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA Japan) to Tachikawa mayor Shohei Shimizu and Takashimaya Company’s president Yoshio Murata, caused a reversal in the decision of the department store’s proprietor. A Takashimaya spokesperson expressed in an interview with Tokyo Art Beat: “Our company has been involved in art for a long time. And I realized again that the space has been loved by the citizens.”

FIGURE X J. JIH’s rendering for their proposal for the 1871 Chinese Massacre Memorial in Los Angeles. Courtesy the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Six Finalists Selected to Design the 1871 Chinese Massacre Memorial in Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles selected six finalists to design the 1871 Chinese Massacre Memorial on North Los Angeles Street, near the site of the massacre and the Chinese American Museum. The shortlisted design teams are: Fung and Blatt Architects; artist Sze Tsung Nicolás Leong and writer Judy Chui-Hua Chung; architecture firm Frederick Fisher and Partners and artist Candice Lin; artists Anna Sew Hoy and Zhu Jia with architecture firm Formation Association; Seattle-based architects Sonam Lhamo, Jiawei Yao, and Yiying; and San Francisco architecture collective Figure x J. Jih. Each will receive USD 15,000 to develop their ideas before presenting them for a community review. Initiated by former mayor Eric Garcetti in his official apology for the massacre in 2021, the memorial will commemorate the racially motivated mass killings of at least 18 ethnically Chinese individuals in Los Angeles on October 24, 1871. Michael Truong, the executive director of the Chinese American Museum, highlighted the importance of erecting a monument that would “remind future generations of the lessons embodied in the tragic Chinese Massacre of 1871.”

SHAHZIA SIKANDER, NOW, 2023, painted bronze, 2.43 × 1.22 × 1.22 m. Image via Facebook.

Shahzia Sikander Wins the Pollock Prize for Creativity

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation has awarded the USD 50,000 Pollock Prize for Creativity to Pakistani-American artist Shahzia Sikander for her first major public art project, “Havah . . . to breathe, air, life” (2023). Located in New York’s Madison Square Park and a neighboring courthouse, the multimedia exhibition combines sculpture with Snap AR technology and video animation in an investigation of female representation in “traditionally patriarchal spaces.” Established in 2016, the Pollock Prize for Creativity is presented annually to artists “whose work embodies high creative standards and has a substantial impact on individuals and society.” Ronald D. Spencer, the chairman and CEO of Pollock-Krasner Foundation, commended Sikander’s “thought-provoking works that probe questions about representation, power, and justice.”

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