The Museum of Aloha is coming to Ala Moana Center.
Dave Nagamine, owner of the exhibit, and his team of 25 to 30 people spent the last month working hard to put the collection together.
Features inside include 55 surfboards lined up on the ceiling and one room with over 1,500 lei. New features at this location include a black light forest and a 16-foot shark. Murals at this museum are all painted by local artists.
"You get to play with the stuff in here so you're not just looking at flowers on the wall, you're walking through it," Nagamine said.
Aside from artsy exhibits to pose for a photo or Boomerang, Nagamine said there is a historical or cultural Hawaiian connection to each exhibit.
Nagamine's background is in corporate finance and he has worked for companies like IBM. After crunching numbers for more than 10 years, he decided it was time for a career change.
He said he loves to create things and his office is a room of "controlled chaos." He saw interactive museums around the world and was first inspired by The Color Factory in San Francisco and the MORI Art Museum in Tokyo.
"I started seeing all these things on the mainland and I thought no way these guys will ever come here. So I'm gonna build one," Nagamine said.
Then he did. The first Museum of Aloha popped up at Pearlridge Center, then at Ka Makana Aliʻi in Kapolei. Nagamine said business at the Kapolei location was not as good as Pearlridge because of the lack of traffic. He also felt that the demographic was not the right audience. Nagamine said he will be back at Pearlridge next year with a more child friendly exhibit, hinting at possible interactive displays like a giant cave and a slime wall.
One day, he got a call from an Ala Moana representative to see if he was interested in bringing his creativity to town.
Doors open Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. next to Big Island Candies on the ground floor of Ala Moana Center.