by Ku‘ulei Funn and Melissa Mejia
| During the First Friday Gallery Walk in August,
Filipino entertainers joined several of the artists at the tower
to share their culture. The Kalipahu Dance Company shared traditional
Filipino dance, and the Red Eyed Jedis did hip-hop.
It’s amazing that we got to do something like this,” said
Ruchelle Aurellano, 20, of Waipahu, a dancer for the Kalipahu
Dance Company. She said the dance company’s name came from
the words Kalihi and Waipahu, places where the dancers are from.
The artists walked the audience through the exhibit to share
their inspiration from their art.
Alicia Ajolo, 23, from Moanalua, displays a typical “mom-and-pop
store” with products such as garlic, ginger, and a few
household items. Her display suggests an old grocery store and
includes a green display shelf of boxes of Marungay seeds. Ajolo
said the boxes are free to the public as long as they will try
to plant the seeds and carry on her grandmother’s legacy.
Ajolo’s inspiration comes from her early childhood when
she would sit and listen to her grandmother tell stories while
preparing Filipino food.
It was a very Filipino time for me,” said Ajolo, who is
committed to perpetuating her grandmother’s legacy through
On the front of the boxes of seeds, Ajolo incorporated an image
of her grandmother, and on the back cover of the package, she
added her grandmother’s chicken marungay recipe.
Ajolo said that her grandmother taught her hard work and self-sufficiency
and taking care of herself. These are the values she would like
to carry on.
Christopher Aradanas 29, of Mililani, uses photography in a personal
way. His photographs are about identity and use introspection
to discover the layers of self. His exhibition, Self-Portraits,
is a series of three-dimensional faces that he formed from his
It’s like peeling a layer of a person … an accumulation
of different layers that form your identity,” Aradanas
Aaron Padilla, 32, of Mililani, is influenced by traditional
Philippine writing and characters. Padilla received his Bachelor’s
in Fine Arts from Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma, Wash., and his
Master’s degree in ceramics from the University of Hawai‘i
Padilla creates his own language with hand-made ceramics by abstracting
Philippine writing and combining the resulting forms with traditional
My series is based on the ‘Art of Fiction,’ opposite
from ‘Art of Fact,” said Padilla.
The Contemporary Filipino-American Artists of Hawai‘i exhibition
will be on display until Oct. 3, 2006 at The Contemporary Museum
at First Hawaiian Center, 999 Bishop St. in downtown Honolulu.
For more information visit the museum’s Web site at www.tcmhi.com
or call (808) 526-0232.