Spotlighting Waipahu’s Tsuchidana

Wednesday - August 20, 2008

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The Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce pays tribute to abstract artist Harry Tsuchidana during its 30th annual Commitment to Excellence Art Exhibition, open now at the Academy Art Center at Linekona (located across the street from the Honolulu Academy of Arts).

“I feel good about it,” Tsuchidana said of his five paintings showcased at the exhibition.

The internationally famed painter got his start growing up in Waipahu. Shortly after graduating high school, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. After serving in the war in Korea, Tsuchidana attended Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., Brooklyn School of Art in New York, and Pratt Contemporaries - Graphic Arts Center in New York City. He also honed his talent at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

In 1959, Tsuchidana received a John Hay Whitney Fellowship for his commitment to his work, but it wasn’t until 1979 that he says he began to “find some identity” when he began to paint in abstract style. Since then, he has shown his desire to grow as an artist and person through his craft.

Tsuchidana explained that his works consist of a composition of various-sized rectangles done in primary and secondary colors. For example, he describes his The Stage Series as a study of angles and geometric shapes.

“The (paintings) that are going to be shown in the front of the gallery are grays, all variations of grays, and on the inside there will be more colorful works,” he added.

The exhibit also will feature popular artists from the Hawaii community like Charles E. Higa, Sean Browne and Cora Yee. Jurors Grant Kagimoto, James Jenson and Lisa Yoshihara will select additional works to be shown in the gallery.

“They will select pieces from up-and-coming artists,” said Wendy Abe, HJCC’s president. “We had about 600 entries, and about 70 pieces will be selected.”

The exhibition is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays up until Aug. 28.

For more information on the chamber of commerce or the 30th annual Commitment to Excellence Art Exhibition, call 949-5531 or visit

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