Jasper Wong and Pow Wow Hawai

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Jasper Wong is an artist, illustrator, and curator. He is a man who wears many hats and best known for his art that is a unique clash of Asian-influenced pop culture on paper. Jasper has exhibited worldwide, in places such as Japan, California, France, London, Mexico, New York, Hong Kong, Chicago, and Australia and he has been selected on multiple occasions by Archive magazine as one of the 200 Best Illustrators worldwide. He has also scored press in publications such as Communication Arts, Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Taschen’s Illustration Now, Hypebeast, Booooooom, Arrested Motion, Hi-Fructose, Acclaim, Complex, Vice, and Juxtapoz.

Jasper is also the founder of a gallery in Hong Kong called ABOVE SECOND and another creative venue in Honolulu called LOFT IN SPACE. In its existence, both Monocle magazine and CNN have chosen it as one of the best galleries in the city. Jasper is also the creator and lead director of POW WOW HAWAII, which is a non-profit organization of contemporary artists committed to community enrichment through the creation of art outreach programs, educational programs and engaging the community in the creation and appreciation of art.

Jasper’s newest venture is in the form of a community art center called LANA LANE STUDIOS. It is a repurposed industrial warehouse that has been transformed into progressive 2D/3D creative workspace and center for teaching and learning. It is a place where creative output flourishes, interacts with and inspires the community. It is a combination of private studio spaces and a fully functional art school for the youth of Hawaii.

 

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POW! – It’s the impact that art has on a person. A literal punch in the face.

WOW! – It’s reaction that art has on a viewer. A sense of awe and wonderment.

Together they form POW WOW, which is a Native American term that describes a gathering that celebrates culture, music and art.

Now imagine for a moment a contemporary form of the gathering which brings internationally and locally renowned artists to one place. A place that will allow them to do what they do best: be creative. We give them the tools, the space and the freedom to create. We make that process open to the public, allowing them full engagement and interaction between the artists and their audience. They witness the creativity in its entirety and become an essential part of the artists’ process. It’s about the breaking down of those closed doors and making art accessible. Now take a step further and imagine transforming a whole neighborhood with art within a week. Seeing creativity happen all around you from beginning to end and bringing people together through the act of putting paint on surface.

A POW! WOW!

 

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Yayoi Kusama

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Yayoi Kusama (草間 彌生 or 弥生 Kusama Yayoi?, born March 22, 1929) is a Japanese artist and writer. Throughout her career she has worked in a wide variety of media, including painting, collage, sculpture, performance art and environmental installations, most of which exhibit her thematic interest in psychedelic colors, repetition and pattern. A precursor of the pop art, minimalist and feminist art movements, Kusama influenced contemporaries such as Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. Although largely forgotten after departing the New York art scene in the early 1970s, Kusama is now acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan, and an important voice of the avant-garde.

Born in Matsumoto, Nagano into an upper-middle-class family of seedling merchants, Kusama started creating art at an early age, going on to study Nihonga painting in Kyoto in 1948. Frustrated with this distinctly Japanese style, she became interested in the European and American avant-garde, staging several solo exhibitions of her paintings in Matsumoto and Tokyo during the 1950s. In 1957 she moved to the United States, settling down in New York City where she produced a series of paintings influenced by the abstract expressionist movement. Switching to sculpture and installation as her primary mediums, Kusama became a fixture of the New York avant-garde, having her works exhibited alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and George Segal during the early 1960s, where she became associated with the pop art movement. Embracing the rise of the hippie counterculture of the late 1960s, Kusama came to public attention after she organised a series of Body Festivals in which naked participants were painted with brightly colored polka dots.

In 1973, Kusama moved back to her native Japan, where she found the art scene far more conservative than that in New York. Becoming an art dealer, her business folded after several years, and after experiencing psychiatric problems, in 1977 she voluntarily admitted herself to a hospital, where she has spent the rest of her life. From here, she continued to produce artworks in a variety of mediums, as well as launching a literary career by publishing several novels, a poetry collection and an autobiography.

Kusama’s work is based in conceptual art and shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, Art Brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism, and is infused with autobiographical, psychological, and sexual content. Kusama is also a published novelist and poet, and has created notable work in film and fashion design. Major retrospectives of her work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and Tate Modern, whilst in 2008 Christies New York sold a work by her for $5.1 million, a record for a living female artist.

 

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