New exhibit on Hawaiian images coming to Bishop Museum

A new exhibit coming to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu will explore the history and culture of Hawaii through the relationship between people and images.

“Kini ke Kua: Transformative Images,” coming to the museum Feb. 16 to Sept. 2, 2019, includes wooden and stone images as well as photographs and modern renderings.  

Kii, which refer to images in the Hawaiian language, are an essential element in Hawaiian spirituality and come in many forms, such as wood, stone and other natural materials. Kii can embody deities and personal guardians. The exhibit explores some of the ways in which the relationship between kii and people have changed and why.

The gallery will be organized into four themes: spirituality, cultural practices, global diffusion, and contemporary inspiration. At the center of the exhibition will be a kii long held in a private French collection, recently gifted to Bishop Museum by Salesforce chairman and CEO Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne. The wooden image will serve as the focal point of the exhibit, and will contribute to the larger dialogue about relationships, spirituality, and kii in Hawaii and as they move through the world.

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