Michael Arcega - Sculpture
Friday - June 27, 2008
Michael Arcega - Sculpture
Artist Michael Arcega says his sculptures and installations start with words. But when you see his work - rock walls, a scaled-size replica of Noah’s Ark filled with dried meat and so on - you may wonder how.
“Sculpture is kind of what comes out in the end,” Arcega says, adding that he draws most of his inspiration from different texts and language.“The language adds another level of interpretation.”
Arcega, originally from San Francisco, is participating in the “Asian Sensation” exhibition at Honolulu Academy of Arts, which encompasses three contemporary art shows, two film festivals and lectures by art scholars. His work is part of the “One Way or Another” exhibition that showcases several pieces of contemporary art from emerging artists across the country.
His single piece on display at the academy is titled Eternal Salivation, a scale model of Noah’s Ark that has pieces of dried meat labeled cow, chicken, lizard, kangaroo and more meant to symbolize what he envisions the mythical boat might look like and provide for its inhabitants.
“The hull kind of looks like a cellar - it’s pretty raw inside,” Arcega says. “It’s riffing off the expectations you have of what is in Noah’s Ark and is tweaked.You expect the animals inside are going to be saved from a flood or something, not to be ready for consumption.” He further states the exhibit is meant to emphasis the carnal greed people have to survive, but is meant to be more humorous than dark:“It always sounds darker when I describe it than it actually is.”
The ark is 15 feet long, 7 feet tall and 10 feet wide complete with a small ramp leading into a viewing area to see the contents inside.
Arcega also has a solo show, titled “Futilitarianism,” on display at Nuuanu Gallery at The Arts at Mark’s Garage in Chinatown.“The projects in this exhibition embody a sense of utility and purpose, but the process makes them futile,” he explains on his website.“They ultimately transcend utility to occupy a liminal (ambiguous) space.”
Pieces in the gallery include a rock wall set up on the gallery’s walls and a shaving cream can with pinholes punched through the sides.“With rock climbing, you don’t really need to get to the top of the mountain - there’s no inherent utilitarian purpose for it,” says Arcega, further explaining the message behind his exhibition.
“Similarly to art - you can’t qualify the values that art gives or has. In a sense, there’s a hidden purpose or a not-obvious utility, but for the most part people see (art) as a futile endeavor.”
Arcega has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from San Diego Art Institute and is working to obtain a master of fine arts from Stanford University.
His work is on display at Honolulu Academy of Arts through Aug. 24, at the Nuuanu Gallery through July 19 and on his website www.arcega.us. For more information on the galleries, art and Arcega, visit the website.
THE LOCAL CANVAS
The Space to Be
A little farther away from the bars and galleries clustered around Hotel Street and Nuuanu Avenue in Chinatown is a small studio,dance room and poetry stage all rolled into one.
Owned and operated by Moana “Auntie Mo” Meyer and belly dance instructor Shadiya, who refer to themselves as Da SmarTitas,Daspace Community Art Center and Studio Be offer a different venue for the local art community to rent or visit.
“Daspace Community Arts Center is a multimedia cooperative art space,” says Meyer.“In addition to being an artist workspace offering gallery exhibits for First Friday exhibits and performances, the space is considered a modern day ‘hale pili’ - or melting place where people can come together as a think-tank and wellness resource center.”
While the limits for using the space are numerous, the studio is a popular site to learn belly dancing. “Shadiya is an award-winning instructor and performer,” says Meyer.“Her extensive knowledge of authentic Egyptian folkloric dance and effective teaching style have made her one of the top instructors and performers in the state.” Classes are ongoing Wednesdays and Sundays with group instruction starting at $15 a class and private classes at $50.
This Saturday is “Fix It with Auntie Mo.” Guests are invited to bring their broken lamps in for a do-it-yourself lamp repair class. Repair materials are provided as well as lunch. “I teach people to take care of the little things that drive them crazy - things that never get done, but zap our energy just thinking about them,“says Meyer.“By fixing or reinventing that favorite lamp of yours, you can bring life and light into the world.” Cost is $45 if pre-registered and $50 at the door.
Later that day,from 7:30 p.m.to midnight, is “Fun(d)raise Like A Rockstar!” Visitors are invited to the studios for dancing, door prizes, wine and beer, awa, massages and temporary tattoos. Cost is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Meyer notes the fundraiser is not meant for making a profit; they need the funds for development. “We need support from the community to get through this next phase to sustainability,“says Meyer. “We are almost there, and it would be a shame to lose these spaces when there are so many people who love and use the place to share their kuleana.”
Studio Be is located at 63 N. Beretania St. in Chinatown. Call 351-4960 or visit www.studiobehawaii.com for more information.
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