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A Display of Memory

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Feeding the Immortals

Vapor-wave projection: Portraits of Hawai‘i locals taken with half of their face under a water vapor stream to portray spirits of their ancestors.

After his father’s death a year and a half ago, Honolulu-based contemporary artist Taiji Terasaki craved a way to channel his grief. With no strong religious affiliations to help him cope, he created a space of memory and culture in downtown Honolulu in the form of his debut solo exhibit, “Feeding the Immortals.”

This multimedia art exhibit features original work from Terasaki, dedicated to the culture of the people of Hawai’i and their ancestors. Mediums include a mixture of water-vapor projections, interactive displays, photography and a 14-foot food offering wall.

“With this exhibit, people can learn how to express themselves in different mediums, how to reach more into their own cultural heritage, or even explore other heritages that are not of their own,” said showroom associate Brian Linares. 

Many of the pieces on display are tributes to the memory of loved ones and the forgotten culture of the people here on the islands. Linares hopes that the artwork will bring recognition to Hawai‘i artists like Terasaki and awareness about the true culture that permeates Hawai‘i, instead of just palm trees and coconuts.

One of the main pieces that embodies “Feeding the Immortals” is the water-vapor wave projection photography. A portrait is taken of an individual, with half the face distorted in the projection by vapor. 

“The images of the people you see here are spiritual officiates, living cultures. Not necessarily any one, and here he kind of provides the face to something where obviously we can tell ‘here’s a man,’ and the other half is, well, we don’t know what he is. Again, kind of like understanding what death is or understanding what a spirit is,” Linares said.

The pieces are personal tributes to loved ones who have died, personalized through family members and riends’ favorite memory of the person. One sculpture made by Terasaki was inspired by his daughter’s love for her pet rabbit, Fluff. Another was a cabinet shelf build to look like the candies that his father would sell on the street. Each of these displays holds meaning for those for which they were built.

“Especially during the current political climate we live in, I think maybe understanding each other would be essential, crucial on how to improve our life in the future (...) It’s kind of beautiful where this art piece can be something that brings people together,” Linares said.

Ravizza Brownfield Gallery hosts Terasaki’s exhibit, and has only three locations around the world: Lugano, Switzerland; Milan, Italy; and now, Honolulu, Hawai‘i. The space has been open since March 2017, and the gallery has no plans to leave its corner in Chinatown anytime soon.

The art display will be available from now until October 10 at 1109 Nu‘uanu Avenue. Since Ravizza Brownfield is a private gallery, the artwork will be sold to keep the space open. 

Contact info@ravizzarownfield.com or (808) 724-6877 for more information on the sale or the exhibit space.