_O_n May 18, the Honolulu Museum of Art unveiled its latest textile exhibition, Constellation—drawing in space by Marian Bijlenga. Organized by HoMA Textiles Curator Sara Oka, the exhibition showcases the work of Dutch contemporary artist Marian Bijlenga, who approaches mark-making with an innovative use of materials as a drawn line. Bijlenga visited Honolulu in May to install her artworks in the gallery, hand-carrying the delicate pieces to the islands from Amsterdam, and was part of the opening reception festivities.
Bijlenga’s unique constructions respond to the environment, echoing her interpretations of interconnected webs of fiber. Drawing on a non-traditional use of the sewing machine, these sculptures play on positive and negative spaces, encouraging the viewer to see what’s not actually there. Oka describes Bijlenga’s process as “a unique way of transforming fibers, cloth, and textures into floating images and patterns that suspend away from the wall, creating shadowy effects and whispers that become drawn lines”.
Oka and Bijlenga originally met in Suwon, Korea, at a Bojagi Forum (traditional Korean wrapping cloths) where Bijlenga was a visiting artist and Oka was invited to lecture. During Bijlenga’s Honolulu visit, Oka spent a day introducing her to a few Oʻahu beaches and landmarks, and was struck by Bijlenga’s ability to find design and pattern in her surroundings – even in some of the local Hawaiʻi snack food. Bijlenga may be working on future pieces inspired by sights and textures from her time in Hawaii: the shape of found objects on beaches, shadows of leaves and branches on sand, and patterns in a flower lei.
Constellation—drawing in space by Marian Bijlenga will be on view through August 4, 2019 in the museum’s textile gallery.
Bijlenga’s work is collected internationally and represented in the U.S. at LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton, New York and The Museum of Arts & Design in New York City. Her work is in the collection of the Craft Museum of Finland and in the Netherlands, at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, CODA Museum in Apeldoorn, and TextileMuseum in Tilburg. Most recently, she was the winner of the Grand Prix of Bozena Augustinova award at the 5th Triennial Textile Art of Today exhibition at the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum in Bratislava, Slovakia.
One of the world’s premier art museums, the Honolulu Museum of Art presents international-caliber special exhibitions, and features a collection that includes Hokusai, van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso and Warhol, as well as a broad collection of Asian and Hawaiian art. Located in two of Honolulu’s most beautiful buildings, visitors enjoy two cafés, two shops, gardens, and films and concerts at the theatre. The museum is dedicated to bringing together great art and great people to create a more harmonious, adaptable, and enjoyable community in Hawai‘i.