Kini Ke Kua

Transformative Images​

On view now through Sept. 2, 2019

On View

September 21 — March 29

Museum Hours

Open Every Day
9 am – 5 pm


All Ages


Picture Gallery


Adults: $24.95
Seniors (65+): $21.95
Youth (4–17): $16.95
Children (3 and under): Free
Children age 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

From wooden and stone images to photographs and contemporary renderings, the Kini ke Kua: Transformative Images exhibition will guide visitors through a multifaceted presentation of kiʻi (images) from Bishop Museum’s collections and contemporary indigenous art and practice.  Ki‘i, which refer to images in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, are a cornerstone of Hawaiian spirituality and can take many forms. Fashioned from wood, stone and other natural materials, ki‘i become embodiments of deity: representations of akua (gods) and ʻaumākua (personal or family guardians). This exhibit will explore some of the ways in which relationships between kiʻi and people may change and how and why some of those changes have occurred.

At the center of this exhibition will be a kiʻi long held in a private French collection, recently gifted to Bishop Museum by Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne. The wooden image will serve as the focal point of the exhibit, and will contribute to the larger dialogue about relationships, spirituality and kiʻi in Hawaiʻi and as they move through the world. The gifted kiʻi will be complemented with images from Bishop Museum’s collections as well as community loans, further enriching the visitor’s understanding of this very special ki‘i.

The ki‘i (image) donated to Bishop Museum by Marc and Lynne Benioff will be unveiled and presented to the public for the first time during the exhibit Kini Ke Kua: Transformative Images.
Jesse W. Stephen, © Bishop Museum; Bishop Museum Archives
An Offering before Captain Cook in the Sandwich Islands by John Webber, 1779. Bishop Museum Archives.
Original ink and watercolor drawing by John Webber (1751–1793), the artist on Captain James Cook’s third and final voyage to the Pacific.

Bishop Museum sincerely thanks Marc and Lynne Benioff for making this exhibition possible.

Top image:
An Offering before Captain Cook in the Sandwich Islands by John Webber, 1779. Bishop Museum Archives.