Carrying Culture: Navigating Anew

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March 08, 2015 - March 28, 2015
Honolulu Museum of Art School

Exhibition Overview

Thousands of years before Europeans dared to leave their shores, Micronesians were comfortably navigating their region. These skilled navigators had a deep understanding of the ocean and stars that allowed them to take long voyages throughout Oceania. Navigational practices connected the 2,100 islands and 2,900,000 square miles of Micronesia. As ocean people, waterways were an extension of their islands’ surroundings. Micronesia is rooted in mobility through this history of brave wayfinders. While many Micronesians use the ocean as a means of movement, airplanes have helped to prompt larger outfluxes of islanders to far flung locations.

Modern movement for Micronesians is connected to reuniting families, accessing healthcare, and attending school. Carrying Culture: Navigating Anew shows contemporary works by local Micronesian arts that speak to these migration and diasporic experiences. Just as Micronesians’ ancestors sailed to survive and thrive, so, too, do these islanders today. Micronesians on the move are redefining what it means to be Micronesian, especially in new island groups like Hawaiʻi. 

This exhibition closes on March 28 with Celebrate Micronesia, a day-long festival of art-making demonstrations, food, dance, spoken word, a fashion show, coconut husking contests, and films.