Second Contact


Juried by Noelle Kahanu and Ngahiraka Mason, CONTACT 2015 is the second-annual exhibition of contemporary art exploring the notion of "contact" as it relates to the Hawaiian Islands, its people, and their experiences.

The organizers asked artists to respond to the contact period in Hawai'i from the 1890s to 1930s. The writings of John Dominis Holt, a Native Hawaiian ali'i, writer, publisher, philanthropist and philosopher, are used as a source of insight and inspiration. In particular, the seminal monograph On Being Hawaiian is helping to dissect some of the intensity of contact from this period.


All events are free and at Honolulu Museum of Art School unless otherwise specified.

Kūpa'a: Holding ground, standing firm
April 4, 6-8pm, Community Room
Poetry, stories, conversation inspired by writer John Dominis Holt and CONTACT.

(Re)placing Memories
April 7, 6:30-8pm, Community Room
Manulani Aluli Meyer will provide insights on two photographic books produced when Hawaii'i was a territory of the U.S. from July 7, 1898 to August 21, 1959. Books were purchased from a second-hand store in rural New Zealand, and are typical of the period yet their reception today is far from their original purpose.

Kūkākūkā: Dialogue with Noelle and Ngahiraka
April 8, 6-8pm, main gallery
Listen in on ruminations, future visions and observations from CONTACT 2015 jurors.

PechaKucha 23: CONTACT
April 10, 7-9pm, Sketch Garden
Eight creative community members will share 20 slides for 20 seconds each, generated from a CONTACT experience. Come early and enjoy Hawaiian music, ono food and drink. Exhibition will be open.

PAST CONTACT: Happy Birthday, Tūtū Ruth (27 min) and Homealani (60 min)
April 11, 7:30-10pm, Honolulu Museum of Art, Doris Duke Theatre
Director Ann Marie Nalani Kirk's films bring into focus some of the complexities of the CONTACT time period. A moderated dialogue with the director and panel. Tickets: $10 general admission, $8 museum members

Music of Hawaii Concert Series: He Mele Aloha Sing-along
April 15, 6:30-8:30pm, Honolulu Museum of Art, Doris Duke Theatre
Bring your 'ukulele and join old time musicians, Aunty Noe Mahoe, Vicky Hollinger and Kimo Hussey, with historian Puakea Nogelmeier and publisher of He Mele Aloha, Carol Wilcox, as favorite old-time Hawaiian songs from the time period are discussed and sung with the audience.

About the Jurors

Noelle M.K.Y. Kahanu is a writer, artist and curator born, raised and educated in Honolulu. She worked at Bishop Museum from 1998 to 2014, where she served as cultural inventory specialist, project manager, and director of community affairs. Noelle oversaw the annual Native Hawaiian Arts Market and has developed more than 20 exhibitions incorporating the works of more than 100 native artists. She was on the project team that guided the historic renovation of Hawaiian Hall (2009) and Pacific Hall (2013) and was instrumental in the 2010 landmark exhibition E Kū Ana Ka Paia, which brought together the last three Kū temple images in the world. Kahanu is currently an assistant specialist in Public Humanities and Native Hawaiian programs in the American Studies department at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.

Ngahiraka Mason is a curator of 20 years experience gained at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the largest public art museum in Aotearoa New Zealand. Ngahiraka's interests span historic to contemporary approaches to art praxis. Her commitment to contemporary practice includes mentoring, collaborating and commissioning artists and acquiring artworks for her institution. Ngahiraka is consulted on indigenous art practice and invited to comment on the state of contemporary art today. Her recent exhibitions include: Pulima Art Award: Maori Video Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan (Nov 2014-Jan 2015) and Five Maori Painters, Auckland Art Gallery (2014). Recent publications include, "Shared Legacies" in Gottfried Lindauer: His Maori Portraits, Berlin, Germany (2014), Five Maori Painters and "The State of Maori Art in an International Context" in Sakahan: International Indigenous Art, Canada (2013).


Summit is Hawaii's magazine of ideas and style for the global citizen. We're named for Queen Kapiolani's motto, "kulia i ka nuu," strive for the summit. Summit is available on fine newsstands throughout North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

2017 S King Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826
Ikaika Hussey
Creative Director
Mae Ariola
Will Caron
Copy Editor
Karen Shishido
Assistant Editor
James Charisma