the design blog

Kagu / Akari Judges' Picks

  • By Janis Lee

We hope you have had a chance to come by and see the new works in our 10th annual Kagu / Akari furniture and lighting show, showcasing our talented artists and artisans here in Hawai'i. 

We were fortunate enough to have a few of our favorite artists choose their favorites and talk to us about their judges picks.


Jamie Jackson's Pick:

Shui Tsang, Death Laid its’ Lasso

" First, what a treat to see so many beautifully executed inventive designs.  Choosing a " winner" is almost impossible.

  I loved the “ti tree lamp” for its ingenious use of materials, the Epoxy bench for its detailed, excellent wood and resin work and the sculpture, Anthropogenic Epoch which elegantly discusses the journey from light to dark.  

  However, my first choice is “Death Laid its' Lasso”. The large scale of the piece is magical  in juxtaposition with the delicate curves of the "pod" opening,  the opening revealing light. The execution is flawless and adds to the importance of the work. And then, the icing on the cake, the poem that is part of the piece, which adds light to our experience also. Congratulations!"


Logan Pai'ea White's Pick: 

Michelle Schwengel-Regala, Kahuli Forrest

"The overall quality, and inspiration, in the show was great. This piece in particular connected with me in scale, rhythm, and meaning. I'm not very knowledgeable about the yarn bombing movement and its history but I have previously appreciated the way it upends assumptions about materiality and meaning. This piece does all these things, layering an ecological story that is personal to Hawaii and the artist, with the light playful vandalism that wrapping things in yarn seems to evoke. 

The design, a “ladder” displayed horizontally, melds ideas of hierarchy, trees/forest dichotomy, and questions of what exactly our human response should be to such soft problems as the extinction of snails. All in the format of repeating, varying, patterns… the food of life. 

The colors and sinewy forms of the wrapped rungs are fun, impractical, and a reason to keep telling the story on these islands with art + science together. Beautifully woven!"


Mark Chai's Pick:

Jon Krizan, Bookshelf

"This is my favorite piece because: its graphic. It has an interesting composition and balance to it. Almost like it could be a logo of sorts. 

It’s made of humble materials that have been used in a way not normally used. The wood looks like it could have been scraps that were lazer cut to fit the pattern. 

It speaks of Multifunctionality. It could sit comfortably as a room divider or space marker. Indoors as well as outdoors. It can stand alone by itself. And objects placed on it are elevated to a special status. I love how books can rest at an angle.

I admire the way it was constructed. 

It is simple and minimal in its execution."

In addition to Kagu / Akari, we have Milestones, a spirited show of paintings and sculptures from George Woollard, along with an energetic collection of vintage lights from Mid Century Attic. If you have not seen the show, we hope to see you soon.


exhibition runs from september 16 'till november 15, 2021
307C kamani st, honolulu hi 96813
gallery hours: mon - sat  11am - 4pm

for more information, contact or 808.800.6151

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