At First Hawaiian Center | Unsonmay, Industrial Scale/Artistic Precision + Changing Light: Presence of Absence

  • Exhib_slideshow_exhibition_fhc_davies_stude

    Left: Justin Davies. 'Astrid Mummichog the Small,' 2016. Photomontage. | Right: Bruna Stude. 'Ink No.1,' 2015/2016. Platinum/palladium print.

  • Exhib_slideshow_exhibition_fhc_davies_kuraoka

    Left: Justin Davies. 'Karst,' 2013. Photomontage. | Right: David Kuraoka. 'Black & White A-D, Mauka-Makai 1-3, and Color Rings,' 2014-15. Mission Clay Building Products extruded clay, altered, underglaze, glaze.

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March 03, 2016 - June 17, 2016
First Hawaiian Center

Exhibition Overview

Unsonmay: Recent Work by Justin Davies
Justin Davies creates detailed photographic collages which are influenced by places he has lived and by his love of film. Drawn from various sources including his own photographs, the U.S. Library of Congress’ digital archives, and the Hawai‘i state archives, the works are digitally produced in black and white or color. The artist describes the creation of these images as a director would describe the staging and rehearsal of a theatrical production: “I often audition many characters before I find the right one. I change out props that aren’t working and sometimes have to redesign the entire set. I work on each scene until it feels convincingly coherent. In the end, my pieces play out before me like a film or like the unexpected images of a dream.”

Justin Davies lives with his wife and daughter in Honolulu, and works as associate director of outreach for the Honolulu Museum of Art School. His work has been exhibited at SciArt Center, New York, NY; Honolulu Museum of Art School; and Fishcake, Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Industrial Scale/Artistic Precision: David Kuraoka
The large-scale ceramic works presented in this exhibition were created in Phoenix, Arizona at the Mission Clay Building Product Company’s factory. Over the past six years, David Kuraoka has participated in their Arts and Industry Program, which offers artists a chance to work on a large scale, providing a studio space and use of the factory’s equipment such as their industrial kilns. He describes the experience as “one of the more challenging and rewarding opportunities of my professional career, " adding that, "The artistic process and physical demands of handling the factory’s huge clay forms, often weighing a ton or more, are exhilarating.”

David Kuraoka was born in Līhuʻe, Kauai and received BA and MA degrees from San José State University, and a Doctorate of Art from San Francisco State University. He is retired as professor of art and head of the ceramics department of San Francisco State University, and maintains studios in both San Francisco and Kaua‘i. Named a “Living Treasure of Hawai'i”, Kuraoka helped initiate the popular Raku Ho‘olaule‘a. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including at the Hawai'i State Art Museum, Honolulu; San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum, California; the Rotterdam Modern Museum of Art, the Netherlands; and the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, Japan.

Bruna Stude—Changing Light: Presence of Absence
Born in the port town of Split, Croatia, Bruna Stude has always been drawn to the sea and for many years traveled the world as a crew member on yachts, enabling her to pursue her love for the ocean and the world beneath its surface. Her current work results from her interest in the conceptual question of “presence of absence” in relation to the use of light within a photograph. She explains, “The tension between that which is and that which is not disrupts our assumptions about photographic narrative and representation.” The resulting abstracted patterns, composed of fluid swirls of light and dark, beautifully capture the power of the ocean’s currents, tides, and waves. 

Bruna Stude has lived on Kaua‘i since 2002 and is the owner and operator of galerie 103. Her photographs have been exhibited extensively in Hawai‘i, including as part of the Tenth Biennial of Hawai‘i Artists at Honolulu Museum of Art; as well as nationally and internationally at Sulkin/Secant Gallery, Santa Monica, California; and Grand Prix de la Découverte, Paris, France.