Representative Jill Tokuda (HI-02) was joined by Maui Mayor Richard Bissen to reveal artwork from the winner of the US House of Representatives Artistic Discovery Contest from the Second Congressional District, now hanging at the US Capitol.
Cailyn Omuro from Maui High School, was selected by three local renowned artists: Kirk Kurokawa, based on Maui; Brook Parker from Kahalu’u, O’ahu; and Iliahi Anthony, based in Hilo. Omuro’s artwork will be displayed for one year in the US Capitol in the Cannon tunnel, which members of Congress use every day, as well as tens of thousands of visitors.
Cailyn’s artwork is titled Hanagasa Waraba and the medium is colored pencil. Cailyn shared the significance of Hanagasa Waraba:
“Waraba means “child” and Hanagasa is a flower hat worn traditionally by female Okinawan dancers. However, in this piece, I chose to portray the wearer as the feminine version of a boy in order to illustrate the struggle with sexuality and gender that is an integral part of society. There is a stigma associated with discussion about gender and sexuality. By including the illustration of magpies, I tried to showcase the subjectiveness of stigma. In Western culture, the magpie is a symbol of bad luck, but in Eastern Asian culture, it is just the opposite. The duality of the magpie’s symbolism mirrors the juxtaposing impact of the boy in the Hangasa. I hope that with this piece, I can make a small contribution to breaking the silence effect of the stigma on this topic.”
Tokuda also announced that the two finalists will have their art featured in her offices in Washington, D.C. and Hawaiʻi on a rotating exhibit so visitors to her offices can see the works of art.