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Hawaii-themed art exhibits confront reality vs. perception

  • COURTESY KATHLEEN CONNELLY

    The two-sided, 6-by-20-foot work, “Ku‘u ‘Aina Aloha,” was painted in 2016 by Native Hawaiian artists Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Harinani Orme, Kahi Ching, Carl F.K. Pao and Solomon Enos. At top is one side of the mural depicting a peaceful landscape and future vision; the abstract side expresses the trauma of westernization.

  • COURTESY BISHOP MUSEUM

    The cover of “Hawaii,” an illustrated souvenir booklet from 1943, is part of a Bishop Museum exhibit. It’s displayed among other original pieces from a private collection with signage juxtaposing factual versus fantasy narratives.

  • COURTESY HAWAI‘I STATE ART MUSEUM

    “Pa‘u‘aha,” a woven skirt made of coconut rope by Marques Marzan is the centerpiece of the “State of Art: new work,” exhibit at the Hawai‘i State Art Museum.

While it showcases a private collector’s vast array of vintage, Hawaii-themed commercial art spanning nearly 100 years, Bishop Museum’s provocative new exhibit, “Unreal: Hawai‘i in Popular Imagination,” is also a study in contrasts. Read more

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