Honolulu Museum of Art is must-see

One Museum, Many Cultures

Kanani Orta, staff reporter

I used to visit the Honolulu Museum of Art a lot when I was younger, but I have not been recently. I walk past the museum on my way home and on most days, I see lots of people going in and out of the museum. I was very glad I got the chance to visit with The Pinion staff because I love art and hadn’t found the time to go on my own lately.

We visited four different galleries: The Pacific Islands, Medieval + Renaissance, Arts of Hawai’i and Arts of the Islamic World.

The first gallery, The Pacific Islands, had a piece that really stood out. When I first walked in, I saw something called a ‘Standing Slit Gong” (atingting kon) which was made in the 20th century out of carved wood. It’s a tall gong with a long slit going down its stomach and its face looks like one of those cool tapu masks from a Crash Bandicoot video game.

When I looked through the Medieval + Renaissance gallery, there was a statue that dated back to the 14th century of a Madonna holding a child and a scepter that caught my eye. I’ve seen pictures of that statue before so I guess seeing something familiar is why I was so interested in it.

The Arts of Hawai’i gallery had a painting titled ‘The Torchlight Fishermen’ that I found eye catching. The painting had many fishing boats in the waters off Waikiki with torches lighting the boats. The background was dark which probably means that it was set at night. It was a really beautiful piece of artwork.

Overall, I think the museum is a really exciting place. When you do get the chance to visit, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10-4:30, and is free for those under 18. Admission is free for everyone the first Wednesday and third Sunday of every month. It is located at 900 S. Beretania Street, a few blocks from MHS.


By Photo by Anela Chavez.
“snitch” This statue of the iconic and adorable character Stitch actually has a darker and deeper meaning with the art. The Maori artist Brett Graham renamed the character “snitch” for his artwork. With Stitch’s careless and “clueless destruction,” Graham makes him a metaphor for a bigger issue, foreigners’ impact on indigenous cultures. Also showing the character in tar and feather, Graham applied an 18th century American stereotype of symbolic criticism to the character, where Stitch’s typical behavior would’ve gotten him tarred and feathered. Here is the creation of life and the start of something bigger. Caption by Kelvin Ku and Thompson Wong.