Sculpture Garden: Works of Art

Copper sculpture by Satoru Abe

Satoru Abe  |  1926  |  Honolulu
Untitled  |  copper, 2011

Sculptor and painter Satoru Abe is known for his expressions of the cycle of life – birth, growth, death and rebirth – often symbolized by forms such as a tree, a moon, or a meditating figure. This series of copper panels uses several of the artists’ signature images. Abe studied at the California School of  Fine Arts and the Art Students League in New York City. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1963 and a National Endowment for the Arts, Artist-in-Residence grant in 1970.


Copper Sculpture by Bumpei Akaji

Bumpei Akaji  |  1921, Lawa‘i – 2002, Honolulu
Gaea (Mother Earth)  |  copper, 1984

In Italy after WWII, Bumpei Akaji studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence and in Milan on a Fulbright Scholarship. Returning to Hawai‘i, he received an MFA in painting from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa in 1951. Fascinated with shape and form, Akaji incorporated aspects of painting in his sculptural work. Copper sheets were welded, pounded, and the surfaces treated with heat and chemicals to create rich variations in color and texture.


Artwork by Carol Bennett that combines art, science, architecture, and photovoltaic cells.

Carol Bennett  |  1954, Los Angeles
Trigger Picasso Energy  |  enamel on glass, photovoltaic cells, 2011

Combining art, science and architecture, this work transforms the way we see the world around us. Photovoltaic cells within the work absorb the sun’s energy, while the fused enamel glass canopy provides shade for the garden. Carol Bennett received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, in 1979. Carol began visiting Kaua‘i in 1974 and made her move permanent in 1990.


Granite sculpture by Sean K. L. Browne

Sean K. L. Browne  |  1953, Hilo
Ke Kia‘i (The Guardian)  |  granite, 2003

Sean K. L. Browne pays homage to his ancestors with this representation of the Hawaiian adze – upright, solid, steadfast – saying, “their strength and perseverance have allowed us to be what we are today . . . and we too will become guardians protecting and nurturing future generations.” Browne is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Redlands, California, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.


Enamel on steel art work by Hon-Chew Hee titled "King Kamehameha I Uniting the Hawaiian Island Kingdom"

Hon-Chew Hee  |  1906, Kahului – 1993, Kane‘ohe
King Kamehameha I Uniting the Hawaiian Island Kingdom  |  enamel on steel, 1976

Throughout his career as a painter and printmaker, Hon-Chew Hee was known for combining bold colors with stylized figures and geometric designs to create his distinctive story-telling images. He spent nine years of his childhood in China studying the Chinese classics before returning to Hawai‘i. Hee went on to study at the California School of Fine Arts, Columbia University, the Art Students League in New York, and the Paris studios of Andre L’Hote and Fernand Leger.


Closed form hand built glazed ceramic sculpture by Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko  |  1942, Nagoya
Untitled  |  hand built glazed ceramic, 2000

Although Japanese artist Jun Kaneko was originally trained as a painter, he felt that ceramics had the potential to be as monumental and heroic as paintings. In 1991, he developed the form of the “dango,” which is Japanese for a small oval dumpling. Kaneko produced numerous large-scale “dango” that serve not only as sculptures, but also as three-dimensional canvases, using multi-colored glazes like paint. Vertical drips, geometric forms, and sweeping gestural brushstrokes are reminiscent of Abstract Expressionist paintings.


HSAM Sculpture Garden

William Mitchell  |  1925, London
Untitled  |  sandblasted stained concrete, 1972

William Mitchell describes this work as “thoughts carved in concrete,” a grand sketch from the artists’ vision of Polynesia. The mural was created for the Women’s Architectural League to benefit the University of Hawai‘i School of Architecture. Mitchell was educated at the University of Southampton, the Royal College of Art in London, and the British School in Rome. His large-scale commissions in concrete, glass, and metal include the two-storey waterfall sculpture for the U.S. Courthouse and Federal Office Building in Honolulu.


A redwood, epoxy resin sculpture by Kenneth Shutt titled, "Konohiki (headman of an ahupua‘a land division under the chief)."

Kenneth Shutt  |  1926, Long Beach – 2010, Atascadero
Konohiki (headman of an ahupua‘a land division under the chief)  |  redwood, epoxy resin, 1973

Born and educated in California, Kenneth Shutt spent more than three decades in Hawai‘i, where the elements – sunlight, ocean waters, changing winds – contributed to his sense of form, and to his belief that the sculptures he created should be part of the environment, responsive to the changes that exposure to the elements would bring. One of Shutt’s innovations was the combination of natural and man-made materials – wood and epoxy resin – that allowed him to create large-scale forms, such as Konohiki, that retain a sense of lightness and openness.


Three closed form handbuilt ceramic pieces by Toshiko Takaezu

Toshiko Takaezu  |  1922, Pepeekeo – 2011, Honolulu
Ceramic Tree  |  handbuilt ceramic, 1990

Toshiko Takaezu’s signature closed forms often reflect elements in nature. In the 1970s, inspired by trees that had been damaged by lava on the Big Island, she began producing tall, slender cylindrical forms, often displayed in small groupings to suggest a forest landscape. Takaezu was educated at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan. She was designated as a “Living Treasure” in both Hawai‘i and New Jersey, where she taught for many years at Princeton University.


Bronze metal sculpture of 3 dogs. One on the left is seated. The other 2 dogs are standing facing front.

Fred Roster  |  1944, Palo Alto
Jax Bench  |  bronze sculpture, 1990

Throughout his career, Fred Roster has developed a personal vocabulary that combines difference materials into figurative and narrative sculptures. He draws from his experience in ceramics, woodcarving, and metal casting to create works that express social and human concerns. According to the artist, the dogs in the sculpture, “serve as a metaphor for human change.”


An enamel on glass art work by Doug Young transforms the former pool in the Sculpture Garden at HiSAM.

Doug Young  |  1951, Honolulu
Waikui  |  enamel on glass, 2011

Using an old place name for a part of the coastline of the island of Hawai‘i where fresh water met the ocean, this work was created in remembrance of the historic YMCA swimming pool that once occupied this space. This glass sculpture incorporates a dual layered image, symbolizing the merging of the pool water with an overlay of coastal ocean water. Doug Young studied in New York and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Coe College, Iowa in 1973.


All photographs © David Franzen, 2012