Bringing Hawaiian Culture To Light

The Four Seasons in Wailea has a brilliant new art collection—“the first of its kind anywhere,”--courtesy of modern Hawaiian artists.

2099

Ashley Stepanek

hawaiian cultureThe Four Seasons in Wailea has a brilliant new art collection—“the first of its kind anywhere,” says consultant Julie Cline as she leads me through the lobby past all manner of modern Hawaiian interpretation.

A vivid, abstract map of Maui by Joyce Kozloff nearly jumps off the wall with its color above the concierge desk; emerging painter Jason Teraoka’s family portraits (“with the palette of Van Gogh,” says Cline) add warmth to a pillar near the front desk. “[He’s] my Peggy Guggenheim find,” she says to me, proudly, suggesting how she’s helped advance his career. Teraoka recently signed with Art Basil.

An Oahu-bred “Sherlock Holmes of the art world,” Cline says her concept is to tell the story of Hawai‘i after 1959, when it became a state. Her investigative work created an imaginative hotel interior, and has, perhaps more importantly, added a major patron to the contemporary art scene here.

Maui printmaker Abigail Romanchak was commissioned to reproduce collographs in “amber orange, celadon green, ice blue, and olive green . . . fashioned so that each level of the Four Seasons would have its own row.” The originals are from Waina, her thesis exhibition for the M.F.A. degree from UH, the result of her “bringing to light” traditional watermarks made by i‘e kuku (implements), used in beating kapa (Hawaiian barkcloth).

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