Dec 222016

January 29 – May 21, 2017

Curators: Virginia Henderson, Tim Webster, Michael Schuster
Photographer: Tim Webster
Installation Design: Lynne Najita
Assistant Curator: Annie Reynolds

Yangon Echoes invites viewers behind the facades of century-old colonial buildings, inside heritage homes, to explore the lives of people living in the city formerly known as Rangoon.

This exhibition explores notions and values of heritage and home at a time of unprecedented change. It presents intimate views of domestic life while tracing the emergence of this city from decades of stagnation to its engagement with a rapidly changing world.

Today, Yangon is probably changing more rapidly than any other urban space in the world. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is confronting the juggernaut of global capital after fifty years of isolation under socialist military rule.

Encountering this sudden turnaround, Yangon residents are grappling with these questions: What is the role of heritage at such a time of profound political, economic and social change? What do heritage and home mean to each of us? How are we informed by the past and what are our means for survival amidst the challenges of great flux?

Yangon Echoes, an oral history listening project, investigates multicultural diversity and individual everyday lived experiences, revealing the vulnerabilities and pressures on Yangon’s people and its heritage today.

The storytellers share thoughts and feelings, speaking of joy and tragedy, simple pleasures and aching issues. Told with courage and charm, the informal stories of home offer insight into what has happened and is happening to the city.

This exhibition, a popular history of buildings, charts social space and urban folklore, linking past to present via living memories.

Click here to download the exhibit handout.

East-West Center Gallery
John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road
(corner Dole St. & East-West Rd.)

Gallery admission is free.

Hours: Open Weekdays 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and Sundays Noon–4:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays, Feb. 20, Apr. 16, May 29

Parking on the UH-Mānoa campus is normally free and ample on Sundays.

Free school & group tours available

For further information: 944-7177

Sep 132016

mask-carving  watch  pigment

The East-West Center Arts Program, in cooperation with the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts and the Hawai‘i United Okinawa Association presents


Okinawa’s Traditional Culture: Past and Present

September 25, 2016 – January 8, 2017

East-West Center Gallery, Honolulu

Free admission

Okinawa and Hawai‘i have a long history of exchange, with many local Hawai’i families originating from Okinawa. AYANUJI is a word used in ancient Okinawan poetry meaning “beautiful rainbow.” This exhibition aims to build a rainbow bridge between Okinawa and Hawai‘i by sharing both past traditions and present-day interpretations of Okinawan culture. Showcasing textiles, lacquerware, ceramics, carving, and glassware, traditional Uchinanchu culture is highlighted alongside contemporary expressions. This exhibition features works made by the faculty of Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts (OPUA), along with pieces borrowed from the local Hawai‘i community, including musical instruments.

Okinawa Prefecture is a sub-tropical island group in Japan, located where the Pacific Ocean meets the East China Sea. Through its trade with Southeast Asia and China, Okinawa developed its own distinctive culture from Japan during the period of Ryukyu Kingdom (15th -19th century). After the Pacific War (World War II) through 1972, Okinawa was ruled under United States’ military administration. Okinawan traditional arts, architecture, and customs reflect this complicated history.

Gallery Info:

East-West Center Gallery
John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road (corner Dole St. & East-West Rd.)

Hours: Weekdays: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Sundays Noon-4:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays and Oct. 10, Nov. 11, 24, Dec. 23, 25-26, 30, Jan. 1-2.

Admission: free

Visitor parking is managed by UH-Mānoa; parking fees may apply. Parking is normally free and ample on Sundays.

Free school and group tours available.

For further information: 808-944-7177

Special Events:
All in the EWC Gallery with free admission, unless otherwise noted

Sunday, September 25, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Exhibition Gala Opening including reception and short dance performance by Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts. *Full dance and music performance to follow at 4:00 p.m. at UHM Orvis Auditorium.

Sunday, October 2, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated talk: “Okinawans in Hawai‘i” by Joyce Chinen, Director UHM Center for Okinawan Studies and Professor of Sociology, UH West O‘ahu.

Sunday, October 16, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Dance: “Kumiwudui: The Legacy of Kin Ryosho” by Jimpu Kai USA, Cheryl Yoshie Nakasone, Master Instructor and Yukie Shiroma, Instructor. Local performers demonstrate and discuss aspects of this 18th century classical form of court dance theatre.

Saturday – Sunday, October 29-30
Hands-on Workshops by OPUA faculty in pottery, fabric weaving and dyeing. $10; no experience needed; reservations required – inquire for details.

Sunday, November 6, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated Talk: “Okinawan Language” by Stewart A. Curry, Instructor, UHM Dept. of East Asian Languages and Literature.

Sunday, November 13, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Illustrated talk: “The Okinawan Diaspora” By Robert Nakasone, Director, Okinawan Special Projects, East-West Center.
Sunday, December 4, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Film: “Nabbie’s Love” Life in a small Okinawan community is depicted through the story of a local grandmother, her grandchildren, and a young Japanese visitor. Directed by Yuji Nakae. 1999, Japanese with English subtitles, 92 minutes.

Sunday, December 11, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Music: “Mimi-gusui: Life Sustenance through the Ears” talk story concert led by Norman Kaneshiro, Musical Director, Ukwanshin Kabudan Ryukyu Performing Arts Group.

Sunday, January 8, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Okinawan Music by President/Director Grant “Sandaa” Murata and members of the Afuso Ryu Koten Ongaku Kenkyu Choichi Kai USA.

This exhibition is made possible by generous support from The Hawaii Pacific Rim Society; Richard H. Cox; Merle A. Okawara; Paul Yonamine; Aqua-Aston Hospitality; Sony Hawaii Company; and Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc.
The EWC Arts Program is supported by EWC Arts ‘Ohana members, Jean E. Rolles, Jackie Chan Foundation USA, and other generous donors.

Photos left to right: