The art exhibit Disappearing Honolulu, by photographer and filmmaker, Francis Haar, is on display at the University of HawaiÊ»i at MÄ�noa John Young Museum of Art through December 6, 2019. The exhibit features original black-and-white photographs, courtesy of the UH MÄ�noa Hamilton Collections, that document the changes to Honoluluâ€™s Ê»AÊ»ala neighborhood, during the 1960s. Haar taught photography at UH between 1965 and 1985.
â€œThe film and photographs in the exhibition were Francis Haarâ€™s efforts to document a working class neighborhood that will soon disappear in the name of urban renewal. Many similar efforts are underway on OÊ»ahu currently that warrant attention,â€� said curator and UH MÄ�noa photography professor Gaye Chan.
Haarâ€™s images capture the vibrant street life of Ê»AÊ»ala as well as the destruction of the area by urban development. The photos that are displayed coincide with Haarâ€™s film, Ê»AÊ»alaâ€”Life and Death of a Community, which is also on view in the art exhibit.
Unifying the past and present
The exhibit additionally features a map developed by Chan with the help of Natalie Besl, Don Hibbard and Lorraine Minatoishi. This project, titled â€œFrancis Haar: Then and Now,â€� shows 18 sites of Haarâ€™s photography and compares them to their present locations. The works, while documenting Honoluluâ€™s transformation, speak to contemporary concerns about gentrification, land use and urban diversity.
Disappearing Honolulu moved former Ê»AÊ»ala resident, Alex Puou, to visit the exhibit and take a stroll down memory lane.
â€œI saw the ad for the exhibit on Facebook, I believe. I wanted to go to the exhibit because there were photos of my family there,â€� said Puou. â€œI was stoked to see my grandma, my auntie and my uncle. It was interesting to see my family and I tried to look for photos of myself too. I enjoyed the exhibit.â€�
Admission and event information
Disappearing Honolulu is free and open to the public. Parking is free for the exhibit on Sundays.
A panel discussion, Architecture and Urban Change in Honoluluâ€™s Ê»AÊ»ala neighborhood, with DeSoto Brown, William Chapman and Ross Stephenson will be held on October 6, 2â€“3 p.m.
Chan and Maika Pollack, new director of the John Young Museum of Art, will lead a special tour for photographers and photography enthusiasts on October 20, 2â€“3 p.m.