Laura Kina: Blue Hawai’i opens at The University of Memphis

Laura Kina, Elementary School, 30x45 in, oil on canvas, 2013

Laura Kina, Elementary School, 30×45 in, oil on canvas, 2013

University of Memphis
The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art

Laura Kina: Blue Hawai’i

February 21 – March 27, 2014

Opening reception: Friday, Feb 21 5:30-8:00pm

Artist talk: Thursday, Feb 20 7:00pm 3715 Central Ave. #310
“Remembering Painting, Forgetting Photographs”

University of Memphis
The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art
Art Department
Art and Communication Building
3715 Central Ave.
Memphis, TN 38152
Tel 901-678-2216
http://memphis.edu/art/fogelmangalleries.php
https://www.facebook.com/FOGELMANCONTEMPORARY

Join the event on Facebook

All events are free and open to the public.

View the digital exhibition catalog featuring an essay “Okinawan Diaspora Blues” by Wesley Uenten, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies San Francisco State University

See the works online

You won’t find Elvis or surfboards or funny umbrella-topped cocktails in Laura Kina’s dystopic Blue Hawaiʻi. Drawn from family albums, oral history and community archives from Hawaii and Okinawa, these ghostly oil paintings employ distilled memories to investigate themes of distance, longing, and belonging.

Featuring new works and a selection from her ongoing Sugar series (2009-present), the setting is Kina’s father’s Okinawan sugarcane field plantation community, Piʻihonua, on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi near Hilo. Her obsession with blue was inspired by the indigo-dyed kasuri kimonos repurposed by the Issei (first generation) “picture bride” immigrants for canefield work clothes, and colored by stories of hinotama (fireballs) shooting from the canefield cemetery into the night sky. Blue Hawaiʻi echoes the spirits of Kina’s ancestors and shared histories of labor migration.

475 total views, 1 views today