"It is the juxtaposition of girl-child and sex-child, of lunch boxes and condoms sharing a logo of Sanrio characters, of sadomasochistic bondage and cute goods featured and advertised within the same magazine, that generates a deep and variable pool of meanings given the shōjo and her evolving girl culture.”
—Christine R. Yano writes about Hello Kitty’s global domination
CB PHOTOs • Pyongyang, North Korea — the Culture Bomb has just received an exclusive glimpse at how the 28-30ish-year old Supreme Leader recharges: horse massages.
Photos courtesy North Korea.
The Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts (MOCA) recently completed its project of documenting public art across O’ahu. Now you, too, can learn very brief information on structures such as the Equestrian Bridges of Ala Moana, or the creepy guy at the bus stop on Bishop Street with the rats on his shoulder that I always think is a real person (it is a 2000 sculpture called What’s Next (Hawaii’s Journey; Wearing Our Past and Looking to the Future), made by Jodi Endicott).
The site, art.honolulu.gov, runs off the simple-enough Google Maps API, and features cultural hot spots demarcated by a flag, a photograph, and a blurb. Roving over a swath of pins on the map and clicking “list” will give you a rundown of all the pieces in that map area.
But the individual listings provide just a whiff of information. For example, you can know that The Bell of Nagasaki was installed on the Fasi Civic Center lawn in 1990 and is “a bronze bell topped with a crane supported by four steel posts with a stone clad base,” and that “the bell is a replica of the bell from the tower of Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki, Japan.” You will also glean that it is “located on the Grounds of the Honolulu Civic Center near Beretania Street.” If you’re still awake after that, maybe you’d be more interested to know who is the artist, or why do we have it? Why do we care about this bell replica? Is the artist still alive? What is the context of the piece, Public Art Finder? This is nothing more than a skeleton background.
As a starter, Public Art Finder is a good introduction to the art that, in some cases, we might not have even noticed before. But can we get at least get the same type of info found on a museum placard or from a slightly educated docent? —James Cave