Honolulu Biennial 2019

March 8 - May 5, 2019


Support New and Innovative Artwork for HB19


If we want to see a robust art scene in Hawaiʻi, we need to support: 

The creators.

The innovators.

The changemakers. 

Help us fund dozens of artists to create stunning and impactful artwork in time for the Honolulu Biennial 2019. Your gift will help to propel the robust community of talented artists from the countries and cultures linked by the Pacific Ocean.




Sean Connelly, Thatch Assembly with Rocks (2060s), 2017

31 Sean Connelly .jpg

Scott Lawrimore, Curator

Born 1970, Los Angeles, USA is an accomplice to artists and exhibition caretaker based in Honolulu. He is currently Exhibit Designer at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum—the Hawaiʻi State Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Previously, he was Installation Manager of the 2017 Honolulu Biennial, Director of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design, Chief Curator of the Frye Art Museum, and founder of his own exhibition space, Lawrimore Project. In these, and other appointments over a 20-year career, he has been caretaker of over 300 exhibitions.

As a writer and art historian, he was the Founding Editor of the Jake Journal at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, and has contributed to, published, or edited numerous exhibition and museum publications including Leo Saul Berk: Structure and Ornament (UW Press, 2015), Mark Tobey | Teng Baiye: Seattle | Shanghai (UW Press, 2014), and Buster Simpson // Surveyor (UW Press, 2013). As an advocate for future cultural producers, Lawrimore has taught practicum and curatorial theory courses for art history, BFA and MFA candidates at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle University, and the University of Washington. 


Born 1983, Auckland, New Zealand is an art historian and Curator Pacific Art at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Te Papa. She is from the villages of Vaini and Kolofo’ou in Tonga and lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She holds a Master of Arts specializing in contemporary Pacific art and is a doctoral candidate in Art History at the University of Auckland. Her current research focuses on contemporary Pacific art in New Zealand and the Pacific with a particular interest in internet art from 2000 to present.

 Nina has been involved in a number of writing and curatorial projects with Pacific artists from New Zealand and the wider Pacific. In 2012 she was an associate curator for the exhibition Home AKL, the first major group exhibition of contemporary Pacific art developed by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Other curatorial projects include Koloa et Al at Fresh Gallery Otara, Tonga ‘i Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary at Pātaka Art + Museum and most recently Tīvaevae: Out of the Glory Box at Te Papa.



Honolulu Biennial 2019 Announces Title and Approach, First List of Artists and Appointment of Assistant Curator
Announced in Hong Kong at the launch of Asia Friends of Honolulu Biennial reception during Art Basel

Hong Kong, - March 30, 2018 Honolulu Biennial Foundation (HBF) announces the title for the second iteration of the Honolulu Biennial—To Make Wrong / Right / Now—drawn from a poem by participating Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) artist Imaikalani Kalahele:

The source


my origins

lie beneath my feet,

the breath

in my chest


in Pō

the destiny

of my race


plunged into

my gut



my veins

with a new nationalism,

old spiritualism,

and a need

to make wrong


— Imaikalani Kalahele, “Manifesto” from Kalahele (Honolulu: Kalamakū Press)

Curatorial Approach
The curatorial approach for To Make Wrong / Right / Now is related to Kalahele’s “Manifesto” and ideas pulled from the ʻaha—a single sennit cord made of many strands that can be gathered together with a series of knots to form a networked carrier. Thematic strands will be borne by the artists and bound together by a sense of genealogical reckoning (acknowledging the cord connecting past and future generations), indigenous knowledge, non-Western technologies of land use, creativity, materiality and awareness, decolonizing spirits, mana wahine (female empowerment), ancient histories and mythologies knotted with contemporary conditions, and reverence for wahi pana (storied places). The curatorial approach doesn't presume all of the kaona (meanings hidden out in the open) of ‘aha, but is the beginning of making a Biennial of, for and by this place by recognizing it as a unique opportunity to gather, remember, share, learn and move forward together in this place.

Over forty artists and artist collectives will respond to the approach by activating select sites on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island. One-third of the artists will be from Hawaiʻi and two-thirds will be drawn from countries, autonomous regions, territories, kingdoms, and illegally-occupied, annexed, or unceded lands connected by the Pacific including: Aotearoa, Bougainville, Canada, China, Guåhan, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, the continental United States, and others.

First List of Artists
The Curators are pleased to announce the first list of participating artists for the second Honolulu Biennial:

Bernice Akamine (Kānaka Maoli/Japanese-American/Hawaiʻi)

Ei Arakawa (Japan)

Raymond Boisjoly (Haida/Canada)

Abraham Cruzvillegas (Mexico)

Imaikalani Kalahele (Kānaka Maoli/Hawaiʻi)

Lee Kit (Hong Kong)

Kapulani Landgraf (Kānaka Maoli/Hawaiʻi)

Janet Lilo (Ngā Puhi/Niue/Samoa/Aotearoa)

Mata Aho Collective (Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Toa Rangātira, Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi, Rangitāne ki Wairarapa/Aotearoa)

Marianne Nicolson (Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw/Canada)

Paul Pfeiffer (United States/Philippines)

Rosanna Raymond, SaVAge K'lub (Samoa/Tuvalu/Aotearoa)

Natalie Robertson (Ngāti Porou/Clann Dhònnchaidh/Aotearoa)

Chiharu Shiota (Japan)

Kalisolaite ‘Uhila (Tonga/Aotearoa)

Guan Xiao (China)

YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES—Young-hae Chang/Marc Voge (Korea/United States)

Appointment of Assistant Curator

HBF is also pleased to announce the appointment of Josh Tengan as Assistant Curator. Tengan joins Curators Nina Tonga and Scott Lawrimore. Tengan is a Honolulu-born and based curator and project manager in the visual arts. Since 2014, he has worked with local and Native Hawaiian artists, through the arts non-profit Puʻuhonua Society, to deliver Hawaiʻi’s largest annual thematic contemporary art exhibition, CONTACT. He holds a curatorial studies MA with Distinction from Newcastle University (UK) and a BA in Fine Art from Westmont College. As the Assistant Curator for the second edition of Honolulu Biennial, Tengan brings a deep understanding of Hawaiʻi and its practitioners.

Running from March 8 - May 5, 2019 on Oʻahu, Lawrimore, Tengan and Tonga have expanded this multi-venue biennial to include sites on one of the neighbor islands, Hawaiʻi. More information on the specific sites for Honolulu Biennial and the complete list of participating artists will be announced later this year.

About Honolulu Biennial Foundation
Honolulu Biennial Foundation (HBF) supports the local arts infrastructure with a global outreach by presenting Honolulu Biennial, a visual arts festival for Hawaiʻi  focused on exhibiting artists from the countries and cultures linked by the Pacific Ocean. Throughout the year, HBF serves the local community by presenting educational outreach programs, smaller scale exhibitions and professional development opportunities for the local arts community with its Visions of the Future initiative. To learn more visit: www.honolulubiennial.org

To read the release, click here