CONTACT is an annual exhibition of contemporary art exploring the notion of contact as it relates to the Hawaiian Islands, its people, and their experiences.


One of the most comprehensive annual exhibitions of contemporary art made in Hawai‘i

Founded in 2014, the idea for CONTACT can be traced back to the 2012 ‘Ike Le‘a symposium, which stressed the need to revitalize Hawai‘i’s contemporary art scene and to raise our collective awareness of Maoli (Native Hawaiian) artists. Today, CONTACT fills a void in Hawai‘i’s art scene by creating opportunities for Native Hawaiian and local artists, while also making contemporary art of Hawai‘i more accessible to a wider audience. 

Through the show’s annual themes and its breadth of Hawai‘i-based artists, CONTACT contributes to the development of an emergent art scene in Hawai‘i, encourages critical thinking and analysis about contemporary culture in the Islands, and serves as a much-needed education tool for teachers and students. CONTACT continually works with O‘ahu teachers to bring hundreds of learning minds from various schools to encourage art-focused experiences for our keiki and university students.

CONTACT is undeniably the most disruptive and innovative, annual exhibition in Hawai‘i for contemporary art and consistently responds to, negotiates, and reflects upon Hawai‘i’s past, present, and future.
— Isabella Ellaheh Hughes, co-founder and director of the Honolulu Biennial


CONTACT 2018 is the 5th annual exhibition of contemporary art by Native Hawaiian and Hawai‘i-based artists. The partly curated and partly juried show will feature artwork that considers the notion of ‘Contact Zones,’ or spaces of cultural exchange and mitigation in Hawai‘i. The curators for 2018 are Keola Naka‘ahiki Rapozo (designer and co-owner of FITTED, Honolulu) and Michael Rooks (curator at High Museum of Art, Atlanta). The exhibit will include site-specific art installations in Waikīkī, as well as thematic programming (panel discussions, films, etc.), school visits, and artist talks.