Hawai‘i State Art Museum Launches a New Video Series in Partnership with Uniqlo Hawai‘i

The short programs spotlight local artists and their love for HiSAM.


Hisam Sans

Photo: Aly Ishikuni-Sasaki



When a global pandemic hands a tenacious special events coordinator a giant lemon, you can bet she will figure out how to still make things happen. HiSAM’s Aly Ishikuni-Sasaki spearheaded the launch of the museum’s new YouTube channel to keep the spirit of its popular First Friday events going. With COVID-19 leading to the cancellation of all in-person events at the museum until further notice, the videos serve as a way for people to take in musical performances, fashion and art from the safety and comfort of their homes.



The first batch of videos is a special collaboration with Uniqlo Hawai‘i featuring local talent representing different genres of musical and performance style: hip-hop producer Scott Ohtoro, rapper Sans, DJ Toki, choreographer Larene Ujimori and electronic musician Luca Young. The videos showcase new works created by the artists during the pandemic.


SEE ALSO: 7 Questions with Teig Grennan, Hawai‘i State Art Museum’s Senior Exhibit Specialist


Hisam Luca Young

Photo: Aly Ishikuni-Sasaki



Teaser clips of the artists are now playing on Uniqlo’s in-store monitors at the Ala Moana Center location, giving shoppers a peek into the artists’ creative processes, latest projects and their love for HiSAM. In the videos, the performers all wear ensembles from Uniqlo, including the brand’s new collection of Jakuchu Ito shirts highlighting the Japanese artist’s lively roosters and vibrant flowers from the mid-Edo period.



Ishikuni-Sasaki hopes Uniqlo will work with HiSAM on an exclusive clothing collab with HiSAM artists, like the limited-edition T-shirts it released with Pow! Wow! Hawai‘i for the store’s grand opening in January 2019. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.


SEE ALSO: Uniqlo’s New Pow! Wow! Hawai‘i Collection Is Available Exclusively in the Islands


Dj Toki Hisam

Photo: Aly Ishikuni-Sasaki



And what makes this museum so special? DJ Toki’s heartfelt sentiment resonates: “The Hawai‘i State Art Museum is a cultural backdrop of our Island history, preserving all platforms of life: fine art, music, dance, poetry, song, writing, fashion and theater. I am honored Hawai‘i is my home.”



Watch the videos on HiSAM’s Youtube channel now. New videos will be added each month.


Visit Hawai‘i State Art Museum, 250 S. Hotel St., open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., closed Sunday and state holidays, @hawaiistateartmuseum. Visit Uniqlo Hawai‘i in the ‘Ewa Wing of Ala Moana Center, @uniqlo_hawaii


Follow Hawai‘i State Art Museum’s Instagram for info on its latest virtual events.


Lisa Shiroma


Lisa Shiroma is a correspondent for HiSAM and is an artist and art educator. Lisa is the former owner of the HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop, which she ran with partners Aly Ishikuni-Sasaki and Travis Sasaki from Mori by Art + Flea from 2017 to June 2020.