Bishop Museum presents rare, never-before-seen-together images and objects drawn from one of the largest private collections of Hawaiʻi-themed printed ephemera in existence.
Unlike any J.M. Long Gallery exhibit in recent memory, this experiential installation sets up a dialectic between unreal depictions in commercial art and the contemporary reality of Hawaiʻi that has resulted from the wide use of stereotypical and culturally misappropriated depictions.
Unreal impressions of Hawaiʻi have fed Western popular imagination since the 1880s, largely through advertising’s sale and commodification of the idea of Hawaiʻi. Eurocentric interpretations of Hawaiʻi as a place and a people have since been disseminated worldwide. Unreal images enticed people to visit Hawaiʻi and to consume products infused with the imagined glamour and exotic allure of the islands. The global success of these advertising efforts lured people into a false familiarity. Hula dancers and surfers, palm trees and glowing sunsets—these are the popular depictions of the supposedly harmless daydreams of paradise.
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Left to right: Āina Aloha mural artists: Solomon Enos, Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Carl F.K. Pao, Kahi Ching, and Harinani Orme.
One half of Long Gallery will be dedicated to a work entitled ‘Āina Aloha—a touring, story-telling mural about the past and a hoped-for pathway to healing, from a Hawaiian viewpoint. The mural was created by six kānaka maoli (Native Hawaiian) artists—Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Harinani Orme, Kahi Ching, Carl F.K. Pao, and Solomon Enos.
Visitors may interact with the ʻĀina Aloha mural installation by reading and considering a series of prompts on the gallery walls that will encourage viewers to reflect on their own families and lives, their relationship to the land, and their own perceptions of the imagery being presented.
Click Here To View The Making Of ʻĀina Aloha