The HPU Gallery may be a glorified lobby on the Windward side, but with artist Sanit Khewhok as curator, it’s THE place to see young local (or at least residing on O‘ahu) artists’ new work. In the past couple years the space has seen shows by Christopher St. John, Rujunko Pugh, Alan Konishi, Jennifer Callejo, and Michael Sweitzer. (OK, so a bit of an art mafia thing going on…you can also catch established local artists such as Ka-Ning Fong and Noreen Naughton at the gallery.) Just opened on Sunday is “Vanity” by Mat Kubo (along with recent works by Mark Fujishige—who is teaching English in rural Japan at the moment and mailed his stuff in). You might remember Kubo’s name from his island-wide installation “Miniature Monuments to Empire,” which caused such a brouhaha that the Advertiser’s military reporter wrote about it. Mat even glued one of his metal Stryker cutouts on that crumbling cement structure at Kaena Point. He went back out there this past summer—it was gone. This past summer Kubo also spent time at the Academy, as one of Jean Shin‘s volunteer assistants on her installation “Unraveling,” which was part of the exhibition “One Way or Another: Asian-American Art Now.”For his new show, Kubo took a lighter tone, saying he’s having a laugh at himself, and hopes you will too. Going through old photos, he was struck by all his different phases—headbanger Mat, bolohead Mat, brainiac-with-glasses Mat, urbanfunsurvival Mat. He went back to a technique he started working on three years ago, cutting stencils into plywood instead of paper. He uses selected photos as the image, then puts black paper behind the intricate wood sculpture to create 3D portraits that change as you alter the angle of your head. The united states of Mat. He wanted to make something fun, and it is. (And if you’re a budding collector, the works are a steal at $175.) On view through March 9.