WHO/WHAT: The East-West Center Arts Program, in cooperation with the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts and the Hawaii United Okinawa Association, presents “AYANUJI — Okinawa’s Traditional Culture: Past and Present.”
WHEN/WHERE: Through Jan. 8 at the East-West Center Gallery in John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Rd. (corner Dole Street and East-West Road). Gallery hours are weekdays: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, noon-4 p.m. Closed Saturdays and Dec. 23, 25-26, 30 and Jan. 1-2.
COST: Free admission. Visitor parking is available on the UH-Mānoa campus for a fee during the week (free on Sundays). Free school and group tours available. For further information, call (808) 944-7177 or visit Arts.EastWestCenter.org
BACKGROUND: Okinawa and Hawai‘i have a long history of exchange. Thousands of Hawai’i families trace their ancestral roots to Okinawa. “Ayanuji” is a word used in ancient Okinawan poetry, meaning “beautiful rainbow.” This exhibition aims to build a rainbow bridge between Okinawa and Hawai‘i by sharing both past traditions and present-day interpretations of Okinawan culture.
The exhibit features textiles, lacquerware, ceramics, carving and glassware, with traditional Uchinanchu culture highlighted alongside contemporary expressions. The exhibited works were made by the faculty of Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, along with pieces borrowed from the Hawai‘i community, including musical instruments.