Fale Samoa, Satitoa“Fale Samoa, Satitoa,” by Shigeyuki Kihara, one of eight artists on display at the prologue exhibition.


The Honolulu Biennial, a new organization in the Hawai‘i art scene, is setting the stage for its far-reaching event with a preview exhibition from October 30 through November 9. With videos, photography, workshops, instillations, multimedia, and panels, it looks like enough to challenge the street art that has become the signature of Kaka‘ako for the throne. And featuring artists from the Hawaiian islands as well as from across Oceania, Asia, and the Americas, it’s an engaging glimpse into what may be down the road in 2016, when the inaugural Biennial will be taking place.

Starting October 30 with an opening-night event that includes tours, a meet-and-greet, and late-night exhibit hours (OK, open until 9 p.m. hours), Chain of Fire exhibits will be open for viewing/interacting through November 9, with events on Saturday, November 1 and Friday, November 7. Artists include Shigeyuki Kihara (Samoa/New Zealand), who uses photography to reveal Samoa’s colonial past, and Hawai‘i’s Adrianne Keahi Pao, whose photography frames a voyeur’s view of paradise. There is a dramatic floor projection by Arahmaiani (from Indonesia) exploring issues of water and human intervention, and projected video by Mark Salvatus (of the Philippines) visualizing the magnitude of the global remittance economy in the Phillippines, largely influenced by the plight of the foreign domestic worker.

Christopher Kahunahana, a emerging filmmaker and known curator/manager (former, of club Nextdoor) is chipping in with “BHF Selects: Mauna Kea,” an exhibition featuring works by eight Hawaii artists, opening at Fishcake/Box Jelly Saturday, November 1 (reception from 7 to 10 p.m.). On view through November 14, it will be a “site-responsive, immersive multimedia instillation” revolving around the concepts of cultural preservation and scientific knowledge.

To sum it up, there is a lot of what promises to be engaging, empowering, and excellent art over in Kaka‘ako through November 9. There will also be some good talks on this art, a keiki workshop, and the chance to shake hands with those behind the time-consuming creations. Visit honolulubiennial.org/chain-of-fire to learn more, or head on over to Kaka‘ako to see for yourself.

Artists also exhibiting: Sama Alshaibi (Iraq/Palestine/USA), Bahar Behbahani (Iran/USA), Drew Broderick (Hawai’i/USA), Pas de Chocolat (Hawai’i/USA), Hasan Elahi (Bangladesh/USA), and Almagul Menlibayeva (Kazakhstan)

Chain of Fire