Feb 032016


February 7 – May 22, 2016

Curators: Kathy Foley (Wayang), Patricia Hardwick (Mak Yong), and Michael Schuster
Exhibition design: Lynne Najita

Please join us for the exhibition gala opening on Sunday, February 7, 2:00-3:30pm
which will include a reception and a live Indonesian puppet performance (wayang golek)
by visiting curator Kathy Foley

In traditional Malaysian theatre styles, such as shadow­puppetry (wayang kelantan) and the female dance drama (mak yong), influences from a variety of religions and cultures combined to create unique and distinctive Malay art forms. Through the display of puppets, costumes, instruments, video and photographs, this exhibition offers insight into these complex theatre forms and explores the social issues currently facing traditional Malaysian arts.

These art forms have been recognized by international authorities as “intangible cultural heritage,” which include traditions or living expressions inherited from ancestors, such as oral traditions, performing arts and traditional craft skills. But in recent decades, conservative religious models from the Middle East have introduced rejection of many of the more tolerant traditions of Southeast Asian Islam, prohibiting the representation of human form, banning women and men performing together, and rejecting spirit beliefs and that are part of local genres. This has led to a paradoxical situation in which traditional forms have been banned by authorities in some localities as being as “un-Islamic,” while they continue to be honored as national arts by the Malaysian federal government.

For more detailed background information on the exhibition and Southeast Asian performing arts, download the exhibition handout.

This exhibition is made possible by generous support from Richard H. Cox, The Hawaii Pacific Rim Society, and Aqua-Aston Hospitality.

Dec 102015

Click here for the 2016 spring and summer schedule.

The EWC Arts Program offers exhibitions, performances, and artists’ lecture-demonstrations to the public, and invites O‘ahu teachers to bring school groups to its educational outreach programs especially designed for students. Through the visual and performing arts, young audiences are better able to understand, appreciate, and respect the peoples and cultures of the Asia Pacific region.

All of the following exhibitions and performance-demonstrations are FREE to K-12 schools. EWC is able to assist with bus transportation, please inquire for details. EWC Arts educational outreach programs connect easily to Hawai‘i school standards. For details regarding Hawai‘i Content and Performance Standards III and Common Core State Standards (CCSS), click here (http://arts.eastwestcenter.org/outreach).

The EWC Gallery is located at 1601 East-West Road (corner of Dole Street and East-West Road), adjacent to the UH-Mānoa campus; performances are held on the EWC/UH campus. For further information or to schedule a visit, please contact: Eric Chang, (808)944-7584, ChangE@EastWestCenter.org

Dec 022015

Chinese Wedding Jacket
by Mid-Pacific Institute Museum Studies
on Sketchfab

Marriage customs and traditions vary significantly across the globe. In feudal Chinese society – during the Qin (221 BC – 206 BC) and Qing (1644 – 1911) Dynasties, a marriage was decided not by a young couple’s love, but by their parents’ desires. Only after the matchmaker’s introduction and when parents considered the two family conditions were similar then could the couple be matched.

Traditionally, both men and women wore wedding dresses. The design was usually made of gold and silver on a black silk dress. It would be embroidered by a skilled craftsman who would put embroiders of dragons and phoenix designs. The dragon, a symbol of power and the phoenix, a symbol of solitude, connected to symbolize the balance of male and female power. Red-gold, silver, white, and gold are most commonly used on wedding dresses, showing love, prosperity, and a perfect future. There would not be any blue or grey threads because it reflects a sorrow to their future marriage.