Photo courtesy of Dave Rolf
On July 15, at 12:37 p.m., one of Honolulu’s most distinctive pieces of public art will be putting on a quiet little show, although if you blink you might miss it. The undulating ring atop Isamu Noguchi’s “Skygate,” that imposing black tripod near Honolulu Hale, will cast a perfectly circular shadow that fits neatly within the concrete base below it. It’s a phenomenon that only properly occurs twice a year, during the Lahaina Noon, when the sun shines directly overhead.
Noguchi didn’t include this cool feature in his notes for the sculpture. But as Tory Laitila, registrar at the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, says, “Art is a subjective experience, and artists like to leave things for the viewer to discover.” (For a full list of Lahaina Noon times and dates across the state, visit www.bishopmuseum.org/planetarium.)