If you’re an active social media user, you’ve probably noticed the hashtag #5WomenArtists popping up on Instagram and Twitter in the last couple weeks. The campaign was started last March by the National Museum of Women in the Arts to call attention to the lack of recognition given to women artists and was revived this month. The #5WomenArtists challenge asks this question: “Can you name five women artists?”
In response to this, we want to recognize the contributions of some of our past women artists in residence. Our residency program has hosted artists who work in a variety of media and has included visual artists as well as poets, dancers, musicians, film makers, and writers. We’ve selected short video clips of five past women artists in residence, in a way that best showcases their respective media in addition to allowing them to share their work in their own voices.
Artist in Residence: January – Februrary 2016
Jen Shyu is an experimental jazz vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, Fulbright scholar and a recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Award in 2014. Shyu has studied a range of musical styles from Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea, East Timor and others. In her performance, Solo Rites: Seven Breaths, she presented an amalgamation of these diverse styles which is complimented by her unique choreography.
The following is an excerpt from Solo Rites: Seven Breaths performed onsite at Shangri La’s Playhouse, Jan. 30, 2016.
Artist in Residence: November 2008
Shahzia Sikander’s work has grown over the years, in size and in concept, from small Indo-Persian miniature paintings and portraits to monumental abstract media projections. Sikander, who was born and raised in Pakistan and is now based in New York, often addresses and challenges cultural perceptions in her work. We have been fortunate to host Shahzia Sikander onsite twice over the last several years. She returned to Shangri La in 2011 to complete the work she began during her residency in 2008.
For those interested in seeing Sikander’s work in person, we highly recommend checking out her installation, Parallax, which is currently on display at the Honolulu Museum of Art .
The following is an excerpt of Sikander discussing the work she completed in residency at Shangri La.
Artist in Residence: March 2015
Krithika Rajagopalan is the Associate Artistic Director and dancer of the Natya Dance Theatre, one the leading Indian dance companies in the US, based in Chicago. She trained under world-renowned practitioners Hema Rajagopalan and Padma Bhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan in the traditions of bharatanatyam dance as well as the art of kalari payatu (Indian martial arts) and yoga.
The following is an excerpt from her performance at Shangri La entitled The Power Within, March 14, 2015.
Naomi Shihab Nye
Artist in Residence: July – Aug 2016
Naomi Shihab Nye is an award-winning Palestinian-American poet, songwriter, and novelist. Nye’s experiences growing up Palestinian-American in the US as well as a life-changing childhood visit to her grandmother in the West Bank are reflected in her work.
The following is a poetry reading from her talk at Shangri La on August 6, 2016.
Artist in Residence: May 2016
Azra Akšamija is a Bosnian Austrian artist, architectural historian and professor of the arts at MIT’s Art, Culture, and Technology program. Her academic research focuses partly on the representation of Islam in the West and her work investigates ways in which contemporary art, cultural heritage and new technologies can bring cultures together to foster mutual understanding and encourage peaceful coexistence on a global scale.
The following is an excerpt of Akšamija discussing her wearable mosque project during her artist talk at Shangri La, May 2016.