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New Old

It was probably a blur, but if any of you had a chance to go inside thirtyninehotel these past few weeks, something might have felt different. The walls on the entire Ewa side are completely black. It’s a pretty significant change in there and one that made it look like a completely new space when I first noticed it. The preparations are for Phoenix artist Dan Diaz, who’s been decking the halls of the art space. It’s just about finished. Just in time for First Friday this week.

“My purpose is to steadily and intently cast an eye towards survival in this collection,” the artist said in a statement, “ultimately narrowing my gaze to humankind’s will to transcend life’s trials and weather the most exacting storms.” Ah. Something we all can relate to. Coming from both a Japanese and Mexican heritage, Dan is known for his intricate line work and depiction of personal conflict through pattern and severe imagery on mediums like skateboard decks, shoes and murals. This show, La Mirada, will be his first in Honolulu and he’s put a lot of thought in it. “Although each work in the series depicts some pain and strife, each also depicts some struggle as a promise; the promise of struggle as a means to the ultimate end: survival.”

The changes didn’t stop with Diaz and his developing murals. I found myself somewhat blown away by a new crew that put a lot of thought into their event: “An Evening with Tarantino.” A party is a party is a party most times, especially over Halloween weekend. Why push it to the limits creatively when you’re going to get people no matter what, right? A recent graduate from UH Manoa’s ACM Film Program isn’t so hot with the holiday complacency. Together with some of their friends, Sean Silva and Justin Lininger a.k.a. DJ Justin Hodge crafted NOT just any old Tarantino party, but a super legitimate tribute with much props to the famed director’s love of music in film. They included visual sequences projected on two screens accompanied by well-planned out music and live drums. The program had breaks here and there throughout the night where we would watch one of Tarantino’s more notable scenes in its entirety. The room would go quiet and I could tell the people who were there truly appreciated the talents of Tarantino. Without even knowing until I bumped into Silva later that weekend, I could tell the boys put a lot of work into the event. He told me about the months of preparation and how they really did it for the love and appreciation for the art of cinema and music. It was fantastic. It wasn’t the first Tarantino party but it was definitely one of the best, which says a lot since the last one was so fun. I kept looking around the room, packed in an otherwise desolate Friday night Chinatown, thinking if this is what the new gen is cooking up, I’m definitely not feeling so lame for getting old.