Tastefully Cluttered Walls

What do you do while solo and having a sip to drink in a coffee shop? Most likely, you have your head buried in a smartphone … but that’s so trite. Enjoy some engaging off-screen time having your brew while perusing Kissaten’s art-filled walls at its Piikoi location.

“I feel bad about having to pick and choose who can be in a show and who can’t because of space,” said exhibit curator Lisa Shiroma. “I decided to have a salon-style miniature show so I could invite a ton of artists.”


Image 4 of 5

‘The Guide and His Steed,’ by Erin Marquez

And that she did, with 80 or so pieces of work being displayed by nearly 60 established and newly hot sculptors, painters, sketchers, photographers and digital media experts. Provocative, thoughtful, beautiful, disturbing … a range of emotionally compelling works jump off the wall.

Take Allon Amitai’s digital photograph, “West Oahu,” a glassy, lurching, sea-green swell, suspended right at that moment that you’d love to leap in from the sand.

Or Martin Holzgang’s playfully off-kilter painting of an overturned cupcake – pink frosting, sprinkles, cherry and all – with the angled candle still burning.

A silvery gray koi splashes from murky waters, a veritable sea dragon, in Donovan Takushi’s “Koi with Kiku.”

In a sketch by Andrew Yamauchi, a swirl of cables connects computer equipment with canisters and cylinders, a kind of mad scientist tech lab.

Twisted, wormy insects turn out to be miniature, misshapen fiber sculptures in Nicole Higa’s “Daily Tatting,” while an unsettling beauty inhabits Darold Ramelb’s “Necromancy” series, pairing entomological specimens with manmade trinkets.

To view languorously is to inevitably spot a particular piece that speaks to you.

For instance, there’s a sinister attractiveness in Maura Takeshita’s gangly, Ichabod-like imp with his Cheshire grin, tucked into a petri dish for all the world to gawk at.

Gawk away!

the TICKET stub

When: 24/7 through May 1
Where: Kissaten at 88 Piikoi St.
More Info: 593-1200, kissatencafe.com

Elaborate Beijing Opera

Fifty is the magic number for Kennedy Theatre: Lady Mu and the Yang Family Generals (on stage through March 2; hawaii.edu/kennedy, 944-2697) marks 50 years of performing jingju (Beijing Opera) at UH, while also celebrating the theater’s 50th anniversary season.

“The production is massive with guest artists from China, costumes from China, students learning a whole new art form, hours spent on hair and makeup,” says theater spokesman Matthew Kelty.

The effort is indeed tremendous, with students being schooled in carriage, combat, acrobatics, vocal training and instrumentation from premier jingju performers for six months. This production is the world English premiere, co-translated by UH professor of Asian theatre Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak, the first non-Chinese jingju performer in the People’s Republic of China. Since 1985, she has overseen several jingju productions at Kennedy Theatre. Terms like “theatrical spectacle,” “splendidly costumed,” “lavishly staged,” have been used to describe this authentic rendition of Lady Mu, which depicts the legendary Yang Family warrior clan that is widely celebrated in traditional and popular media throughout China. A free pre-show chat will be held March 1 at 7 p.m.