• Ideas
  • Mar 05, 2021

Recap: Hawai‘i Contemporary Art Summit 2021

Screenshot of the keynote conversation between artist AI WEIWEI and the curatorial director of Hawai’i Triennial 2022, MELISSA CHIU, at Hawai’i Contemporary Art Summit 2021. Courtesy Hawai’i Contemporary.

Since the late 1980s, economists and politicians in Europe, North America, and Australasia have used the term “the Pacific Century” to describe the postwar growth of large East Asian economies and the shift in geopolitical power away from the countries of the Atlantic to those encircling the world’s largest ocean. This term—with all of its imperialistic political and cultural baggage, particularly in its revision of Henry Luce’s jingoistic 1941 declaration of the American Century before the United States entered World War II—is part of the title of the Hawai‘i Triennial 2022, “Pacific Century – E Ho‘omau no Moananuiākea.” As curatorial director Melissa Chiu explained at the Hawai‘i Contemporary Art Summit 2021 (February 10–13), in conversation with the Triennial’s associate directors Miwako Tezuka and Drew Kahu‘āina Broderick, “Pacific Century” will look at Hawai‘i as a midpoint culturally between the Asia Pacific and United States (sorry, Canada!), and would place the former region at the “forefront of our thinking.”