Artists Alina Kawai and Kana Ogawa present a two-person exhibition: Merge at Hawai‘i Loa Campus, Art Gallery July 7, Sunday to September 6, Friday. Opening reception July, Sunday 4:00p.m. – 6:00p.m. Explore unique perspective on cultural blends and collision of identity. In a globalized, rapidly moving society, two young women share their connection to multiple languages and lifestyles. As our information era continues to blur some lines and build walls on others – reflect, accept, and evolve. Art Gallery, Hawai‘i Loa Campus 45-045 Kamehameha Hwy. Kāne'ohe, HI 96744 The Hawai‘i Pacific University Art Gallery is located on HPU’s windward Hawai‘i Loa campus, 45-045 Kamehameha Highway, in Kāne‘ohe. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Free Parking and admission, open to the public. For more information call 544-9340. Access to the Kailua/Kāne‘ohe bound lanes of Pali Highway are available Monday through Friday between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. all other hours please use Likelike Highway. RSVP HERE Merge Artist Statement: Kawai and Ogawa probe the perception of modern culture through a grounded local perspective of Honolulu and look further, with the anticipation that the paintings will activate a personal connection with the viewers. Much of Alina Kawai’s sensitivity and interest in color and form derives from her Japanese and Euro-American heritages. One becomes aware and fascinated on how each culture applies meanings and usage for colors and marks in relations to the visual arts, literature, social, and anthropological histories. This has become a resource to inquire on the similarities and differences from both cultures. Having lived in both countries there are feelings of an uneasy intensity conjured from being in-between places and ideas. The “in-betweeness” translates as part of the process of paintings, allowing to re-organize and understand a person’s identity. For Kawai painting is ultimately a way to relate to the human psyche and our existence within cultures. Kana Ogawa's new series for Merge identifies the experience of vulnerability and acceptance. Embracing her own waves of cultural changes, Ogawa offers a perspective on cultural blends. Having been raised herself in Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and now living on O’ahu, she continues to experience a shape-shifting lifestyle. Language, personal identity, and multiple perceptions are navigated and overwritten. Ogawa's work speaks to progression by purposefully destroying and rebuilding the surface to create new layers. Just like any divided person that must reject certain parts of their character to fit in, her art shows that expectations and influence are gifts of deep history that cultivate a unique existence.