Fashionable shopping mall in Honolulu doubles as an art stop too

“Pumpkin,” a bronze sculpture by Yayoi Kusama at Honolulu’s Ala Moana Center, recalls the artist’s childhood in Japan during World War II, when pumpkins were an important source of food.
(Ala Moana Center)

Honolulu’s Ala Moana Center has been a big shopping destination, but now the mall has expanded its Art Walk with the addition of three notable sculptures.

To artist Yayoi Kusama, “Pumpkin” isn’t about jack-o-lanterns but, instead, about sustenance. Growing up during World War II in Japan, the 87-year-old artist and her family relied on pumpkins as a source of food.

The bronze work, which stands 6 feet tall and weighs more than 1,200 pounds, was crafted in 2014. According to the Art Walk website’s description of the work and the pumpkin as source of inspiration, “Kusama prizes its unpretentious, yet generous nature which for her even attains a spiritual quality.”

One of the newest pieces in the shopping center’s art collection is  Gerard Tsutakawa’s “The Guardian.”
One of the newest pieces in the shopping center's art collection is Gerard Tsutakawa's "The Guardian."
(Ala Moana Center )

Seattle native Gerard Tsutakawa was commissioned to create “The Guardian,” an 8-foot-tall water sculpture. The jagged edges of the bronze piece were designed to evoke a Polynesian war club, while the zig-zags represent the folded paper ornamentation found in Japanese shrines.

Hawaii artist Stephen Freedman’s three ceramic creations are named “Memory Containers.”
Hawaii artist Stephen Freedman's three ceramic creations are named "Memory Containers."
(Ala Moana Center )

Artist Stephen Freedman, who lives and works on Hawaii Island, created “Memory Containers.” The artist is well-known for his abstract ceramic works, and the one showcased at Ala Moana Center contains three diamond-shaped forms with metallic bronze glaze. 

A map guides visitors to the locations of these works and others in the shopping mall’s multimillion-dollar collection.

The open-air retail center is open 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Info: Ala Moana Center, (808) 955-9517