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Mililani Artist Bringing Interactive Japanese Art To Museum

A graphic representation of Andrew Binkley's exhibit in its completed stage. Graphic from Honolulu Museum of Art.

A graphic representation of Andrew Binkley’s exhibit in its completed stage. Graphic from Honolulu Museum of Art.

A Mililani resident is the next artist-in-residence at Honolulu Museum of Art.

Andrew Binkley, a Nebraska-born artist who moved to Hawaii in 2003, will exhibit at Spalding House’s outdoor Surface Gallery weekends through May 18. The show will continue through July 11.

The interactive exhibit invites museum guests to take part in a project based on the ancient Japanese art of kintsugi (golden joinery). In kintsugi, treasured items, such as damaged tea and rice bowls, are reassembled with the fractures being dusted with gold. By repairing rather than disposing, the item’s imperfections are converted to cherished pieces of art.

Binkley doesn’t have gold dust, but he is using the outdoor gallery space, which was once a tennis court, to recreate this ancient art form. He removed the layers of gravel and has painted a dark, diagonal strip in which guests can paint the cracks gold to complete the piece.

Called “A Space Between,” the strip also features a line that connects the museum’s two sites, Spalding House and Honolulu Museum of Art.

“This project is an invitation for people to be part of it and interact with it and be a part of the process,” Binkley explained.

His work has been displayed at The Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan, the Downtown Film Festival in Los Angeles, the Queen’s Museum of Art in New York and the Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art.

He also has exhibited site-specific works in venues ranging from an ancient castle in England and a WWII air-raid shelter in Poland to the streets of Seattle with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“I’m really interested in site-specific work and interactive work, work that engages with people and connects them to that place,” said the artist, who was ordained a Buddhist monk while living in Thailand.

“The contrasts working with this project are really connected, and allowing people to add to it is another element to it. There is a shift in perception from things we think are broken and usually want to get rid of. rather than accepting it and appreciating it. That’s the concept I am going for.”

The museum is featuring other exhibits that are connected to Binkey’s work. These include “Light from Shadow: Gold in Japanese Art” at Honolulu Museum of Art and “Come Undone: The Art of Entropy and Decay” at Spalding House.

The multimedia artist also will be featured in a group exhibit that highlights Kakaako’s history, water, land and its people. His work can be seen from May 3 to June 14 at Fish Cake, Box Jelly and Art+Flea.

Binkley also is creating a mural on the wall between Fish Cake and Box Jelly.

When his time as artist-in-residence ends, the gravel will likely be returned and Binkley’s work will be hidden like those who came before him. But he hopes it doesn’t happen that way.

“What would be really interesting, if ever they decided to get rid of the gravel, there are wild layers of color paintings from before. But if they uncovered it all, there would be this one long black line on top of that with all these gold cracks.

“I think that would be beautiful to see.”

For additional information about the exhibit, call 526-1322 or go to honolulumuseum.org