Underrepresentation of Women

This article kind of reminded me a bit about that slide Dr. Smorol showed us about the art that is published in galleries, the people who go to art galleries, and the owner’s of art galleries. This article reminded us that just like in art galleries, women and people of color are underrepresented in theatre. This is salient in many facets of our culture and it is truly a shame. I always remember hearing people say, “Oh yeah well Shakespeare used all male actors for his plays” But I never really wondered why that is. This article shows the discrepancy between the percentage of plays produced and directed by women, and how many women are in the audience. On Broadway 16% of plays are directed by women, yet 63% of the audience is women. The disparity here is unsettling. As is with most parts of life, theatre has been geared toward the white, male, heterosexual norm, and unfortunately this has leaked over into the arts more generally.
I did find it interesting that in smaller and poorer theatres the amount of women directors and playwrights inclined. To me this suggests that in small pockets inequality can be reached. However, oppressive structures rigidly hold patriarchy to the utmost importance, thus suppressing women’s voice and influence in theatre and the arts.
 I like at the end of the article when the author says, “If 80 percent of the stories that are told are written by and about men, if the majority of female characters are created from a male perspective, and if the directors, producers and critics are predominantly male, something is inherently wrong. We do ourselves and the theater community a great disservice by not working together to address this problem.”
If 80% of the work produced is by males and for males, then our perception of what we are watching is most likely skewed and gender biased. I do not know if that is the best thing for society, unless you are a heterosexual white male. I’m glad that the author calls for a shift in this paradigm, and raises almost a very solemn warning or maybe even a precautionary note, that what we are watching may not always be taken at face value.


Word count: 363




Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Gardens

Vertical Garden. By Patrick Blanc in Madrid, Spain


After seeing the supertrees of Singapore, I was reminded of this piece I saw that was designed by Patrick Blanc titled Vertical Garden. Not only do I think that the piece is very unique, but it is extremely aesthetic. Living in a city, I often feel caught up in an urban jungle. Here, quite literally, we can turn this concrete jungle into a living concrete jungle by covering the walls of buildings with plants. Not only does this make the building and the city more aesthetic and attractive, but it can also serve a functional purpose too. By planting all these different plants it is reducing our carbon footprint, and I’ve also heard of people growing vertical garden walls. So this can be a certain form or an alternative to urban gardening. The side of a wall is not only a blank canvas for muralists, spray paint artists, but also to botanists who can arrange edible landscapes. It will be interesting in the future to see what the influence of our rapidly changing society will have on art. A few hundred years ago we wouldn’t even have tall buildings to create these vertical gardens. And in this day and age everybody is environmentally conscious, which has sparked the idea of these new edible vertical gardens. And the fact that they are finding awesome ways to not only carry out functional pieces of art, but also ones that are aesthetically pleasing is just awesome. Who doesn’t love plants and nature? These vertical gardens are a nice break from the concrete monotony of urban dwelling, and they serve a practical function as well.


Word Count: 270:)

Bumpei Usui

The piece I chose is entitled “Party on the Roof” by Bumpei Usui. Some sources tend to add Fourth of July to the title of the piece, and making note that the backdrop of this image is New York City. These 2 details seem to Americanize the image and separating it from just Asian art. By focusing on a holiday of U.S. Independence, and seeing all of the people celebrate this holiday, there is a focusing on their sense of U.S. nationalism and pride. This is a way for people to establish their place in American society. Previously, immigrants were often treated poorly for having difficulty assimilating to U.S. society. The creator might be trying to show people in this type of party setting, rejoicing for their freedom in America, so that their “alien” status is diminished. However, there are distinguishing features that emphasize the Orientalism of this artwork. For one, there are traditional Japanese and Chinese instruments on the left side. The people in the image are also sitting on the ground instead of chairs. This is a nod to many Asian countries and ethnicities that tend to sit on the ground during dinnertime, or celebrations. There is a certain struggle within this piece. The struggle seems to be retaining their history and ancestry vs. assimilating to a new society. Perhaps that is too black and white though. Maybe the artist is implying that people can retain their cultural identity while living in a new world.

Source: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2008/november12/gifs/chang_usui.jpg

Bryan Contreras

Graffiti Knitting / Yarn Bombing

Yarn bombing or graffiti knitting is art using items that are made out of yarn to install in a public space and not getting caught for your actions. The artists see their installments just the same as painters see their artwork. No matter how much material someone is using, art is art. There are two different kinds of graffiti knitting are cozies and stitched stories. Many people around the world have done their yarn bombing in well-known areas or on famous statues like Wall Street’s Charging Bull. There are many amazing examples in the link below. Watching TV the other day, there was a show about this artist, Eric Rieger aka HOTTEA who is a participant of the yarn bombing. The traumatic story behind this ex-graffiti writer is that he was tasered and put into jail for his vandalism. Because of this stressful time and consequences that followed him, he decided to continue doing what he loves but to use a different material to help with his healing process. He calls his artwork “fencework,” because he uses his skill and creativity to make magic happen on fences. Looking at various galleries of his work, I didn’t believe that what he did was made out of yarn! What people set their mind to is absolutely a beautiful gift.

images-2                                                    yarn-bombing-blog-200x200






Free Art Night at the Kroc Center

We don’t get “art stuff” out this way often!!!




Kroc Center Hawaii celebrates the Arts with Art Night: Feel the Light. The event will feature art demos, a gallery of artwork by Kroc Art students and a photo booth. Attendees can explore their creativity with free art projects. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (808) 693-8356.



Gender, Power & Tradition: Lalla Essaydi Lecture Response

Lalla Essaydi in her lecture Gender, Power & Tradition, explained her conflict between her appreciation of western art influence and parallel disdain for its representation of Arab women. More importantly her lecture focused on the effects of western gaze on Moroccan culture. Some of the common themes discussed in her work is the henna writing on the models, the clothing and the walls as well as space and thresholds. I found it interested that she explained the sexuality of Arab women as being associated with spaces. Such that historically, women usually occupied the private space and men the public space, thus, when a men entered a space it became public. It is western imagery that uses this explanation to demonize Arab men as the perpetrators of gender violence. However, in answer to this Essaydi indicated that it was European influence and imagination of what Arab women are like that dissolved the barrier between these spaces. She stressed that difference of interpretation through the purposing of the sari or shawl. Western view dubs the shawl as a mode of oppression but rather the shawl ensures a woman’s private space wherever she goes. With this example Essaydi demonstrates how subjective victimizing is when done by an outside culture. One of the main topics of her lecture was about orientalism as an expression of imposed male sexual fantasy. Her allusion to Freud’s Madonna-whore complex was most innovative; that European women, the future wives and bearer of heirs must be pure, hence European men seek their fantasy in their illusion of erotic foreign women.

My favorite part was in her closing where she said that Beauty in art is a luring mechanism, especially for art that seeks to make a statement. The beauty beckons them closer and it is only when they have stopped to take in the art can dialogue of the issues begin.

-Nicolette Trevenen




Sarah added: see this cartoon that pits gazes in terms of cultural relativism….and addresses Essaydi’s comments about western assumptions concerning Arab Women.

cultural relativism cartoon

Jan Ken Po


The artist Corinne Okada Takara incorporates a myriad of materials including scrap cloth, silks, netting, wire, newspapers, food wrappers, and plastics. In her personal statement, she indicates that the use of these odd materials is to represent the coming together of fractured parts to make a whole. Her work is inspired by the places she’s lived and visited and by the stories of places she’s never been. Her stay in Hawaii is what roused the use of plastic netting as is used in graduation candy leis in Hawaii. The use of candy wrappers is also associated with this visit. In this particular piece Jan Ken Po, Okada depicts scissors, another implement in her expression of pieces of a culture. Her use of comic cut outs and food wrappers speaks to modern cultural associations with her ethnic background and also implies a changing of the times as she doesn’t represent her background with traditional art but rather through accessible articles such as food and entertainment. The way she describes her work is the pulling apart and reassembling of artifacts. Her art represents the conflict of second generation American immigrants. The patchwork of different material symbolizes the cohesion of her heritage, her experiences and her present. Asian Americans are somewhere between “worlds” as we may call it. They still lay claim to where their family came from, but being born in the states, they have ties here as well, this comes through in their art.

Use the link to flip the image over and see the back:) http://www.okadadesign.com/kimono_3_jkp.html


Jan Ken Pon

2001 Size: 5.5′ x 5′ x 6″

Media: wire, silk, scissors, produce netting, nylon netting and handmade paper of rice paper, Japanese comics and candy wrappers.

Sold: The Peabody Essex Museum, Boston, MA.

Photo: George R. Young


War Baby, Love Child- Artist interview Podcasts!, website, and Ex Cred.

Listen to one of these podcasts and reply with a comment or new post of 200 words connecting the artist’s thoughts with course readings or themes for extra credit

War Baby Love Child Home Page: http://www.warbabylovechild.com/photos/

Link to Artist Interview podcasts: https://leilaninishime.wordpress.com/category/podcasts/

Link to Seattle Times discussion of the exhibit at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, 2014: http://seattletimes.com/html/thearts/2021627392_warbabywingxml.html


Lori Kay “Heir to Rice” from the War Baby, Love Child Exhibit



To see some very questionable interpretation of the sampan/ non la see this item description  (Best selling!) and image from online seller The Hat company out of Las vegas (this is real merchandise marketing, not artwork) Thoughts?http://www.thehatco.com/Coolie_Sampan_Rice_Paddy_Hat.html


Coolie Rice Paddy Sampan Hat


Price: $25.95
This hat is one size. Color, as shown.

Laquered straw Coolie. Hand woven in Southeast Asia. Tie-on chincord included.

This Coolie Hat is the real thing. Worn daily by millions in Asia in the rice paddys.