Friday, June 29, 2007

Art at the State Capitol..."Aquarius" by Tadashi Sato

"Aquarius" by Tadashi Sato

The State Capitol is a wonderful place to view works from the "Art in Public Places" collection of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. The art work is located on the grounds and in the offices that are open to the public. On Aloha Fridays, we'd like to share with you some of the pieces that are noteworthy or are favorite selections of the House Majority members. We encourage you to visit the offices of the representatives and enjoy the artwork in person.

Installation of "Aquarius" in 1970
(photo: Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

Perhaps the most famous art mosaic in the state is located in the Rotunda of the Hawaii State Capitol. "Aquarius" by Tadashi Sato (1923-2005) is a 36-foot circular mosaic inspired by the submerged stones viewed through the depth and reflection of blue ocean waters. The mosaic, made of 6 million tiles imported from Italy, was completed in 1970.

Portrait of Tadashi Sato by Kirk Kurokawa

Sato, an abstract expressionist, was born on Maui and served in World War II. He moved to New York City after the war to pursue his art and worked as a security guard at MOMA. Legend has it that one night, actors Charles Laughton and Burgess Meredith visited Sato's apartment and purchased seven paintings. From that point on, he worked as a full time artist and moved back to Maui in 1960.

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