Fishcake presents a collaboration show (February 10 to April 9, 2022) with 3 artists Shin Takahashi, Michael Marshall, and Paul Levitt in our next exhibition “Visual Poetry”, in alignment with the highly anticipated Hawaiʻi Triennial (February 18 to May 8, 2022).
Hawai‘i Triennial 2022 (HT22) presented by Hawai‘i Contemporary will open on February 18, 2022. Preceded by two biennials in 2017 and 2019, the 11-week, city-wide art exhibition entitled “Pacific Century – E Ho‘omau no Moananuiākea” marks its third iteration with a new format and major expansion as the biggest contemporary art event in Hawai‘i. Please be sure to visit hawaiicontemporary.org for more info.
Modern Visual Poetry emerged worldwide with the advent of abstract art and avant-garde movements in the early 20th century. International movements such as Cubism, Dadaism, Futurism, and Surrealism gave rise to new visual genres such as concrete poetry and collage art. Beginning in the mid-1970s, Hawaiʻi’s first concrete poet, the late Wayne Kaumualii Westlake (1947-1984) began publishing locally, regionally, and internationally. Westlake’s ground-breaking work continues to influence Native and non-Native concrete poets and artists including Joe Balaz, Kaʻili Chun, Richard and Mark Hamasaki, Imaikalani Kalahele, Kapulani Landgraf, Carl Pao, Shinichi Takahashi, and most recently, Thad Higa, who was the 2019 artist-in-residence at BoxJelly + Fishcake.
Featured Fishcake artists include Hawaiʻi residents Shinichi Ola Takahashi, Michael Marshall, and Paul Levitt.
Shin Ola Takahashi
Born in 1947 in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Shinichi Ola Takahashi began his career as a graphic designer. Initially, he was captivated by “Nihon-ga” (Japanese-style paintings); he then delved into “Jigoku-E” (hellish scenes), the theme of his first solo exhibition in 1971 at Namiki Gallery in Ginza. In 1974, he moved to Hawaiʻi. Two years later, he met poet, artist, journalist, and pro-sovereignty proponent Wayne Kaumualii Westlake. Over the years, they contributed significantly to Seaweeds and Constructions (1976-1984) until Westlake’s death in 1984. In 2014, Takahashi created two paintings of visual poetry exhibited at the “Down on the Sidewalk in Waikiki: Westlake Art Invitational" at Gallery ʻIolani (Windward Community College) inspired by poems featured in the book, "Westlake, Poems", by Wayne Kaumualii Westlake (1947-1984) published by the University of Hawaʻi Press in 2009. Both paintings are included in the ʻElepaio Press exhibit of the Hawaiʻi Triennial 2022 and on view at the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum (February 18, 2022 through December 2022). In 2021-2022, Takahashi began painting a new series of visual and concrete poetry inspired by poetry published by Westlake.