Yusuke Hanai - Painting

Matt Tuohy
By Matt Tuohy
Friday - August 29, 2008
| Del.icio.us

AUTOFOCUS

Yusuke Hanai - Painting

Japanese artist Yusuke Hanai will exhibit his surf-inspired paintings in his solo show, Unexpected Colors, Sept. 3-27 at Chinatown Boardroom, a gallery in Nuuanu.

“I think when colors are mixed together, beautiful colors that nobody expected will appear,” says Hanai on the underlying message in his art, unity. “I hope this world will be like that. People have to get together and make some new color.”

The show features pieces with acrylic neon colors and colored masking tape in waves and fluid shapes. The color scheme and shape formations look like they’ve been taken right out of a Dr. Seuss book, and his portraits and caricatures are reminiscent of cartoons in Mad Magazine, or even the animated band Gorilaz.“He’s very ‘70s in vintage,” says Jackie Walden of Chinatown Boardroom.

Hanai got the idea of the show and theme when he was out doing what he loves most. “He described the show as the way the light hits the water when he’s out surfing,” says Walden. “It makes an ‘unexpected color.’

When all the different people in the world coexist together, they make special colors,“she says, about the underlying message of unity. “So, it’s kind of something you don’t expect to see normally. It’s a cultural and philosophical show, too.”

Hanai’s works were recently featured in The Happening, an international traveling art show that features music, art and film, as well as several other Japanese surf art shows.“He also participated in the Greenroom Festival in Japan,” says Walden.“That’s also a music, surfing art festival. In Japan, it’s pretty big.”

Hanai will visit Hawaii for the first time for the show’s opening, but this won’t be his first time in the United States.“He studied at an art school in San Francisco for about a year, so he’s been to the U.S. before,” says Walden.

For more information or to see other works by the artist, visit hanaiyusuke.com.

Chinatown Boardroom is located at 1160 Nuuanu Ave. For more information about the gallery, call 585-7200 or visit www.chinatownboardroom.com.

Check out www.midweek.com to see video footage and interviews of Roses and Revolvers: The Lady Killers art show held Aug. 23.

ROSES AND REVOLVERS [VIDEO]

 



THELOCALCANVAS

Watercolor Society

Hanai enjoys 'unexpected' colors
Hanai enjoys ‘unexpected’ colors

You may have dabbled with this medium as a kid, or even tried to experiment with it as you got older - and should you want to give it another shot, there is a group that can help.

The Hawaii Watercolor Society has been helping artists understand and flourish in the medium for about 46 years, and is always accepting new members.

The society has about 285 artists and encourages the art form with workshops, shows and more in a medium said to be difficult to master.

“Watercolor is so difficult because you really just get one shot at it,” says Frances Hersh, a committee chair, signature member and spokeswoman for the society.“With acrylics, you can go over stuff. With watercolor, once you put it down, you put it down. You can wash it out, but you have to wash the whole paper out.”

Another issue about the art form is how well pieces keep over time - pictures can fade or fall into a deteriorating condition if not kept properly. Hersh says times have changed,“With the new pigments developed over the last few years, that’s not the case.“She mentioned the tricky part is now keeping the paper from falling apart due to the climate.

Jackie Black
Works from signature artists of the Hawaii Watercolor Society such as Jackie Black’s Squall and Frances Hersh’s Smile (below right) will be featured at Louis Pohl Gallery during the society’s show

The beauty and art of watercolors comes from the transparency and how the paper is used not only as a canvas, but also as a part of the whole picture, says Hersh.

The society has two shows per year that are juried shows with judges from outside the island judging each piece and giving workshops.

“We bring in national and, sometimes, international jurors for our shows and workshops,“says Hersh.“We’ve had Korean artists come in and give workshops, and also judge and jury our shows.”

Hersh noted the organization doesn’t like to use local judges because of the close ties the Hawaii art community has.“It takes away all the comments on bias,“she says.

There are also guidelines the artists must follow to be included in each show. “For our shows, the art has to be at least 50 percent transparent watercolor, behind glass,” says Hersh. She also says a lot of people are getting more creative with their watercolors, and sometimes get away from the classic form of pigments and paper.“We have now a lot of people adding collage elements and water-based pastels to get a more modern look.”

Frances Hersh
Frances Hersh’s Smile

The society also has signature artists, who receive special recognition for their time and work within the organization through certain shows. To become a signature member, artists must receive awards, recognition or simply stay in the society for a certain number of years to collect the 25 points necessary. “We add maybe two signature members a year,“says Hersh.

The society currently is showing works from its signature members at the Louis Pohl Gallery, on Nuuanu Avenue and Hotel Street, from now until Sept. 19.

For more information about the society, visit www.hawaiiwatercolorsociety.org.

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