This “Get to Know at HoMA” series introduces the many people who work behind the scenes, and together, make HoMA the special place it is.
What is your title, what do you do, and how long have you been working with HoMA?
I am the Chief Communications Officer for the Honolulu Museum of Art, on the job for almost half a year now. Along with my amazing team, my kuleana is running the marketing and communications functions for the museum’s programs, exhibitions and events to help bring our brand to life.
What do you like most about your job at HoMA?
I love that I get to magnify the great work that all of the museum employees, volunteers, docents and trustees put their heart and soul into. I was once told if you can’t be the bulb, be the lampshade that projects light to the farthest corners of the room. Art can be remarkably unifying, and in its different forms can start so many meaningful and relevant conversations. But art on a wall or on a stand—in isolation—is fundamentally inert. We need the vibrancy and diversity of people, audiences and communities joining us to set dialog, and even discourse, into motion. I think that’s one of the most important roles of a 21st-century museum, and I’m honored to be a part of advancing that narrative.
Which piece of art do you like the most and why?
Out of all of the amazing art we have here, I’m really drawn to the expansive, engaging and immersive paintings of Li Huayi. The artist’s larger-than-life paintings have a classical feel but are expressed in very modern, contemporary terms which is fascinating to me. But what’s most intriguing is that I’ve found Mr. Li’s works can either be viewed from a distance or at very close quarters, without losing any impact whatsoever. Each of his works tells a different story of time and place in intricate, fantastic detail. But you have to hurry down, the exhibition is only on display until January 5.
Tell us something not many people would know about you?
I am an introvert at heart. Why I chose public relations as a career—a field that requires meeting and talking with new people all the time—is still a mystery to my family. That being said, I have enjoyed a very long, exciting and fulfilling career of lifetime learning, utilizing ever-growing communication skills and techniques to change decisions, actions and behaviors toward public good and community benefit. I hope to bring that experience to HoMA so we can achieve our mission and thrive as a museum of the future.