The Hawaiian cordwork done by Taupōuri Tangarō, director of Hawaiian culture and protocols engagement for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College, will be featured in an exhibit at the Bishop Museum. In celebration of Hawaiian creative vision, Hulia ʻAno: Inspired Patterns will be on display March 18—October 16 in the J. M. Long Gallery.
Tangarō’s work threads the expansive world of cordage into modern relevance. As a kumu hula of Unukupukupu, he also teaches students, faculty and the greater community the benefits of perceiving the world from multiple perspectives.
- Taupōuri Tangarō named director of Hawaiian culture and protocols engagement, UH Hilo Stories, January 19, 2016
He is one of five artists presenting at the exhibit and the only one whose published biography notes using cordage medium for academic success.
“This is a great opportunity to expound further the university’s commitment to indigenize,” he explains. “A unique opportunity to create a discussion on the role of traditional arts as a process for academic success.”
Patterns, intricate and vibrant, are a trademark of Hawaiian artistic expression, whether stamped onto barkcloth, drawn onto gourds, woven into mats or pricked into skin.
Drawing from the treasures in Bishop Museum’s ethnology collection and supplemented by its vast natural science collections, Hulia ʻAno explores Hawaiian aesthetic traditions, spotlighting design motifs and visual similarities in the natural world.
This original exhibit examines the ʻAno—or nature—of an object in pattern, shape and form.
In keeping with the aesthetic emphasis of the show, displays are organized on the basis of design motifs, in contrast with the more conventional contexts of function or material. Each exhibit case throughout Hulia ʻAno is represented by a single Hawaiian word and its many definitions. These words were chosen as visual or conceptual descriptions of the patterns presented in the cases.
The results are wonderful and intriguing groupings of cultural and natural objects which, considered together with the word definitions, can enhance the understanding of patterns and provoke creativity and contemplation.
Read more about the exhibit and the other artists on the Bishop Museum website.