CONTACT Hawaiʻi, Marika Emi, and Ramsey Cheng
CONTACT ZONE was the fifth installment of CONTACT, an annual exhibition of contemporary art made in Hawai‘i. Every year, CONTACT offers a comprehensive survey of contemporary art in Hawai‘i, with a critical focus on what it means to live, coexist, and be from and transplant to Hawaiʻi. On view at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, April 6–21, 2018, CONTACT ZONE expanded its reach to include additional exhibition venues in Waikīkī, Kaka‘ako, Kalihi, and Chinatown. Presented here is the documentation of one performance from the exhibition. Street Team was developed by Marika Emi in collaboration with curators Keola Rapozo (FITTED) and Michael Rooks (High Museum of Art).
Street Team brings visibility back to the street at a time when street teams have largely been outshadowed by social media ambassadors. Street Team promotes CONTACT ZONE (the exhibition) and contact zones (the concept), all within a major contact zone (Waikīkī).
Five team members activated significant intersections on Kalākaua Avenue and Kuhio Avenue in order to comment critically, and radically, on the sometimes clashing and sometimes overlapping roles present in the area: tourist, local, military, foreigner, entrepreneur. While handing out flyers, they engaged passerbys in casual, albeit sometimes confusing, dialogue about art, commerce, performance, identity, and place.
The Street Team uniforms were intentionally imbued with the bricolage of Waikīkī; the ubiquitous safety-yellow shirts of construction workers, the graphic language of street promoters, the imported language of Aloha wear, the utilitarian accessories of the tourist, the presence of the US military camouflaged all too well in the islands.
Street Team was made possible by the generous support of Puʻuhonua Society.