Skip to content

#8x8_shangrila audio

During the summer of 2020, eight Hawaiʻi-based visual artists and eight performing artists were invited to create new work responding to the theme of “place” at the Shangri La. Each artist was entrusted with one of eight gallery spaces that served as both a creative prompt and exhibition space for their work. The result? A remarkable and highly original exhibition that showcases the exceptional creativity that exists across the Hawaiian archipelago and its intersections with Islamic art, cultures, and design in the Pacific. 

In this original audio series, Shangri La staff members interview some of the artists featured in the exhibition to take a deep dive into their processes, materialities, and their diverse take on the theme of place.

Music featured in this series is by Kahnma, a singer and songwriter featured in the #8x8_shangrila exhibition. Check out her full performance here.

We’re all trying to rediscover what it feels like to find the sacredness of life.

Nāwahineokalaʻi Lanzilotti

Karima Daoudi with Nāwahineokalaʻi Lanzilotti and Maya Portner

In this episode, Karima Daoudi, Shangri La’s Public Programs & Special Events Coordinator, holds a conversation with multimedia artist and cellist, Nāwahineokalaʻi Lanzilotti, and textile artist and educator, Maya Portner, about how their relationship with Shangri La has changed over time, how they approached creating their pieces in a space that holds sacred art, and what it means to have an embodied artistic practice.

We should be more vigilant, speak our truth, and never apologize for it.

Sequoia Carr-Brown

Special Guest Interviewer Akiemi Glenn with Sequoia Carr-Brown

In this episode recorded during Black History Month, special guest interviewer, Dr. Akiemi Glenn, Executive Director of the Pōpolo Project, interviews movement artist, Sequoia Carr-Brown. The Pōpolo Project redefines what it means to be Black in Hawai‘i and in the world, and is one of Shangri La’s frequent partners and collaborators. Sequoia shares her experiences of being a Black woman living in Hawai‘i, how she uses her art as a way to work through trauma and shed light on forgotten parts of American history, and tells listeners how she first learned about Hawaiʻi watching surfers on Lake Michigan as a child in her hometown of Chicago.

I’m always affected by the complexity of what it means to call something yours that was not yours...appreciating, acquiring, collaging together different things from across the world that have meant something to you but at the same time have meant something to the places from where they came.That relationship is extremely complex.

Sai Bhatawadekar

Leslee Michelsen with Reem Bassous and Sai Bhatawadekar

In this episode, Dr. Leslee Michelsen, Shangri La’s Curator of Exhibitions & Collections, holds a conversation with multimedia artist and professor, Reem Bassous, and dancer, philosopher and professor, Sai Bhatawadekar. They explore topics such as how to express ethereality through art, how to channel loss and rebirth, and the complex layers of what it means to appreciate, collect and share art and culture that is not your own.

For us, we were affirming our humanity under the most despicable conditions and that resonates with people everywhere. Even the person with the most can appreciate what the person with the least creates because they’re going to find it useful. This is how we found life under constant threat and the reality of death.

Dr. Keith Cross

Navid Najafi with Keith Cross and Brandon Ng

In this episode, Navid Najafi, Shangri La’s Learning Programs Coordinator, talks with MC, singer and professor, Keith Cross AKA Doctabarz and photographer, Brandon Ng. They discuss native plants, delve into ideas of progress, and what it means to use art to occupy places where one has been excluded historically and culturally.

It’s sort of our mission as human beings to be able to negotiate and interpret one another’s culture and I think we do that extraordinarily well in Hawaiʻi because of this multiculturalism that goes back hundreds of years.

Melissa Chimera

Konrad Ng with Melissa Chimera and Moses Goods

In this episode, Dr. Konrad Ng, Shangri La’s Executive Director, talks with painter, Melissa Chimera, and actor and playwright, Moses Goods, about the importance of recognizing family lineages informing our world view, Hawaiʻi’s tradition of multiculturalism, and how to unpack the complicated layers of a place like Shangri La through artistic expression.

Continue the 8x8 Exhibition


You are leaving Shangri La.

Redirecting to