“Mr. Chickenpants” at the Hawaii State Art Museum

Posted on Aug 29, 2019 in Art in Public Places Collection, Art in Public Places Program, Blog Post, Commissioned Works of Art, Hawaii State Art Museum

“Mr. Chickenpants” in the Sculpture Garden of the Hawai‘i State Art Museum by May Izumi

“Mr. Chickenpants” a bronze sculpture by May Izumi, has been dedicated at the No. 1 Capitol District building (Honolulu, O‘ahu).

Group standing in front of the Mr. Chickenpants sculpture.

Comptroller Curt Otaguro with artist May Izumi and No.1 Capitol District Building Art Advisory Committee members Gina Ichiyama, Daniel Chun, F.A.I.A. and SFCA Executive Director Jonathan Johnson.

About the Artwork

Mr. Chickenpants began with the Hawaiian trickster tale, Puapualenalena, but like all tricksters soon took on a direction all its own. The hybrid nature of the sculpture symbolizes the idea that all things are related and we are closer to nature than we might realize.

About the Artist

May Izumi was born and raised in Honolulu. She studied art at the University of Hawai‘i, YWCA, Honolulu Museum of Art School, and Hawai‘i Potters’ Guild. Her work can be found in the collection of the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Honolulu Museum of Art, and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. Her art is heavily influenced by fairy tales, side shows, and cabinets of curiosities.

About the Art Advisory Committee

The Art Advisory Committee for this work of art was Jonathan Johnson (Chair), Daniel Chun, F.A.I.A., James Hisano, Gina Ichiyama, Marcia Morse, and Peter Rosegg. The role of the Art Advisory Committee is to make recommendations to the SFCA regarding the development and design of a given art project, including location, medium, distinguishing features of the artwork, and selection of the artist. The SFCA appoints members of the Art Advisory Committee from users of the facility and representatives from the community in which the facility is located. The committee chairperson is a representative of the state department, division or agency to which that state building or space is assigned. Others from the committee who serve as a resource or advisory member may include some or all of the following: the project architect, representatives of the state comptroller, representatives of state departments that are responsible for the construction or renovation, representatives of the APP Program, and as appropriate, SFCA-appointed artists or technical experts. The SFCA determines the method in which the art project should be commissioned.

About the Location

The Sculpture Garden of the Hawai‘i State Art Museum is located at the No.1 Capitol District building in downtown Honolulu. On the ground floor of the building was once a recreational area that featured a large swimming pool and bleachers. This area has now been transformed to serve again as an urban oasis. It retains elements that evoke memories of the pool, offering pathways for discovery and sites for reflection. The garden is open to the public during building hours (Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.). Admission is free.


The sculpture was funded through the Art in Public Places Program of the SFCA, which receives one percent of the construction and renovation costs for state buildings to integrate art into the built environment of Hawai‘i.

The Art in Public Places Program (APP Program) was created to strengthen the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts’ capability to stimulate, guide and promote culture and the arts through the field of the visual arts. The APP Program seeks to: enhance the environmental quality of state public buildings and spaces throughout the state for the enjoyment and enrichment of the public; cultivate the public’s awareness, understanding and appreciation of visual arts in all media, styles and techniques; contribute toward the development and recognition of a professional artistic community; and acquire, interpret, preserve and display works of art expressive of the character of the Hawaiian Islands, the multicultural heritage of its people, and the various creative interests of its artists. Artwork in the Art in Public Places Collection can be viewed online in the Art in Public Places online catalog as well as the Public Art Archive (www.publicartarchive.org).