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Ula Leo by 'Imaikalani Kalahele and Cory Taum

March 23, 2017 - May 5, 2017
Mānoa Campus, John Young Museum of Art, Krauss Hall

"Ola Leo" presents a collection of work by Kānaka Maoli artists ‘Imaikalani Kalahele and Cory Taum that considers the relationship between urban development, environmental degradation, cultural memory and indigeneity. This multi-generational exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, poetry and artist videos that address specific sites, spaces and landscapes of O‘ahu and illustrate stories from a Hawaiian perspective.

Since the 1970s ‘Imaikalani Kalahele (b. 1946) has been practicing art and poetry as a way of documenting the changing landscapes around him and questioning the overdevelopment of O‘ahu.

In one image entitled Shattered Pearl (2016), he paints the city skyline of Honolulu inside a globe hovering in a sky of blue and purple clouds. “It’s my world,” says Kalahele. “It has been oversaturated and shattered like a pearl.” Kalahele’s images speak simultaneously with his poetry, mediating ancestral knowledge and his concerns with the environment and local politics.

Cory Taum (b. 1990) initially began practicing as a graffiti artist and later started working on community murals around O‘ahu. Taum paints on outdoor walls, abandoned World War II sites, unusual locations in forests and more conventionally on canvas. His imaginative, and sometimes unearthly images reveal layered histories and experiences that address specific sites, spaces, and landscapes of O‘ahu.

Over the course of several years, Kalahele and Taum have been working alongside one another, sharing studio space, and collaborating on exhibitions. In recognition of this mentoring relationship, they received the Mo‘o Award from Nā Mea Hawai‘i and PA‘I Foundation in 2014.

This exhibition and its related events are part of UHM ART: CRITICAL GEOGRAPHY IN HAWAI‘I SERIES that highlights local and international artists who address social-cultural concerns associated with space, place, and environment in O‘ahu.

This event is made possible by the UH Mānoa Student Activity Program Fee Board.


ARTIST CONVERSATIONS + DUAL OPENING: Sunday, March 19 / 1:00-4:00pm @ John Young Museum of Art + Commons Gallery Dual opening Ula Leo by ‘Imaikalani Kalahele and Cory Taum + Diamond Head by Drew Broderick with Gan Uyeda at Commons Gallery.

1:30–2:00 Artist conversations with ‘Imaikalani Kalahele and Cory Taum at John Young Museum of Art

2:30–3:00 Artist conversation with Drew Broderick at the Commons Gallery

PANEL DISCUSSION: Thursday, April 20 / 12:00-2:00pm @ John Young Museum of Art A discussion on the art and life of ‘Imaikalani Kalahele and Cory Taum with Noelle M.K.Y. Kahanu (Hawai‘i-based curator, scholar, and artist)

Ticket Information
Mon. – Fri. 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. or by appointment Closed: Sat. & Sun.; Spring Break March 27 – 31. Free admission. Donations are appreciated. Parking fees may apply.

Event Sponsor
Art + Art History, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Sharon Tasaka, (808) 956-8364,,

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