HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – One of Hawaii’s most recognized artists now can add the Honolulu International Airport on his long list of public spaces where his work is displayed across the state.
World renowned artist Satoru Abe, now in his 90’s, is best known for his metal and wood sculptures which reflect themes from nature. His more than 8,000 art pieces are displayed throughout the Hawaiian Islands and the globe, including The Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawai‘i State Art Museum, and Tokyo Central Museum. Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi was on hand for the dedication ceremony of Abe’s metal sculpture named “Sunburst” which now graces the walls of Honolulu International Airport, along with 40 laser engraved wood etched paintings which tell his story in collaboration with his grandson Donovan Goto. Senator Kouchi, a long-time fan of Abe’s work, has six of his pieces in his office as part of the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Art in Public Places Program.
“Mr. Abe has said that every day is a new adventure, that working on his art is a joy that motivates him, that he hopes to continue on for a few more years and that he hopes, by that time, he will be satisfied,” said Senator Kouchi. “In viewing the piece dedicated today, it is my hope that Mr. Abe will not be satisfied for many more years to come.”
Ross Higashi, Hawai‘i Department of Transportation Airports Division Deputy Director, praised Abe’s passion and talent and remarked that the “artwork compliments the modernization and improvements here at the Honolulu International Airport.”
Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Abe has won numerous awards for his artwork. Selected for the “New Talent” exhibition by Art in America, awarded a “John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship,” “Alfred Preis Award for Excellence in the Arts National Endowment for the Arts” grant, and named as a “Living Treasure of Hawai‘i” by the Honpa Hongwanji Hawai‘i Betsuin. Abe attended McKinley High School in Honolulu and studied at the California Academy of Fine Arts and The Arts Students League in New York.
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