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Corned beef and kalo.

Corned Beef & Kalo, curated by Healoha Johnston, Bishop Museum director of Cultural Resources and curator for Hawaiʻi and Pacific Arts and Culture, features Pisupo lua afe (Corned Beef 2000) by Michel Tuffery, and KALO by Bernice Akamine. The exhibition brings together two iconic works of contemporary art to consider how artists make visible issues related to agricultural subsistence, environmental sustainability, and everyday life where food imports and structured land use intertwine.

On View

March 9, 2024 -
September 15, 2024

Museum Hours

Open Daily
9 am – 5 pm
Closed Thanksgiving
& Christmas Day

Ages

All Ages

Location

J.M. Long Gallery

Image Credit: Banaba/ Ocean Island, central Pacific, early 1900s, British Phosphate Commissioners, National Archives of Australia.

Michel Tuffery’s Pisupo lua afe (Corned Beef 2000) is a striking commentary on the impact of globalization on Pacific cultures, particularly focusing on the dietary shifts and environmental consequences of imported goods. Constructed from flattened corned beef tins, Tuffery’s work transforms these everyday objects into a life-sized sculpture of a cow, symbolizing the transition from traditional to imported foods in Pacific Island diets. This piece not only highlights the artist’s concerns about health and nutrition but also reflects on the broader implications of economic dependency and loss of agricultural self-sufficiency. Tuffery’s innovative use of materials and his engagement with themes of cultural identity and environmental sustainability make Pisupo lua afe a powerful statement on the complexities of modern life in the Pacific.

Bernice Akamine’s KALO offers a complementary yet distinct perspective, focusing on the indigenous Hawaiian relationship to the land and the importance of taro (kalo in Hawaiian) as a staple food and cultural symbol. Akamine’s installation comprises a kalo plant made from wire and paper, representing a variety of the crop significant to Hawaiian agriculture and heritage. Through her work, Akamine addresses issues of land use, environmental stewardship, and the preservation of traditional knowledge, urging a reconsideration of how contemporary practices can support or undermine these vital connections.

Together, Pisupo lua afe and KALO invite viewers to reflect on the intersections of art, culture, and ecology. The exhibition serves as a platform for these critical discussions, encouraging a deeper understanding of how contemporary Pacific artists navigate and negotiate the challenges of sustaining cultural traditions in the face of global change. By presenting these iconic works side by side, the exhibit not only showcases the artists’ creative responses to these issues but also fosters a dialogue about the role of art in advocating for environmental and cultural resilience.

Mahalo to our generous supporters who helped make this exhibition possible.

Malama halo ka papa lo o kanawa.
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OPEN DAILY 9 AM – 5 PM

1525 BERNICE STREET
HONOLULU, HAWAI’I 96817

OPEN DAILY 9 AM – 5 PM

1525 BERNICE STREET
HONOLULU, HAWAI’I 96817

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