We were very excited to realise our travel dates coincided with this exhibition which incorporated two things that are very Hawaii, tattoos and board shorts!

Getting there
The Honolulu Museum of Arts is roughly between downtown Honolulu and Waikiki on S Beretania St which makes it pretty accessible by car or public transport. If you’re coming by car, watch for all the one way streets and if you go a block too far north you will end up on the freeway!

There are a few choices for parking with the cheapest being $3 for up to 4 hours at the Art school. Metered street parking is also an option for shorter stays, only slightly more expensive.

Full details of directions and parking can be found here.

The building itself is rather unassuming but the large cane artworks and swinging metal objet d’art at the front are hard to miss.


Travel tip: Remember this is America and they can “never be too careful” when it comes to tourist spots ie. you will not be allowed to take in bags or liquids. They do however have lockers for hire at the main entrance.

Tattoo Honolulu
Being the featured exhibit, the displays extended over several buildings covering the history of tattooing from style to application with an abundance of examples and a strong lean towards the locals with traditional tribal, islander and Japanese stylings. There’s also a bunch of traditional artwork, vintage designs and equipment on display.






As much as douche bags acros the globe have tainted his name by sporting his gaudish and over the top print designs, Ed Hardy was a pioneer in the tattooing world and has a whole section, along with the official event logo dedicated to him.

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Boardshorts: A Perfect Fit – The history of boardshorts
This small novel exhibit in a dedicated room was a little light in content but it did well in focusing on the major style changes and brands of everyone’s favourite non offensive swimming attire from its humble beginnings as short shorts to the quick dry knee length velcro’d numbers that we have today. You might even spot a couple pairs you used to own!

There was also some local history on life saving and the Baywatch styled outfits that came with the job and champion surfers contributions with their boards and their actual boardies on display.







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Also during our visit, the museum was featuring a section dedicated to Japanese traditional artist, Hiroshige. The artist responsible for some of Japans most well known images this side of The Great Wave.




The rest of the museum is divided up with mostly Asian history and artifacts. Some of the carvings and sculptures are extremely detailed. The mind boggles at the time it would have taken to construct such complex pieces with only primitive tools!




Modern conceptual art also gets its chance to shine along with local paintings of volcanoes, even the courtyards through out the grounds are individually landscaped and decorated to a specific theme.





Travel Tip: There’s not much else in this area for sight seeing but there is a Safeway supermarket which is open 24 hours. Definitely the place to stop in if your hotel room has a kitchenette, just remember most portion sizes range from “bulk” to “giant”! Though it does have its perks, a 1.5L bottle of vodka will set you back only $25US! (even less if you’re part of the members shopping).


Check out the full gallery of photos with the links below

Tattoo Honolulu 2013 exhibit
Boardshorts: A Perfect Fit – History of Boardshorts exhibit 2013
Honolulu Museum of Art

Hawaii 2012 part #1 – Arrival
Hawaii 2012 part #2 – Waikiki
Hawaii 2012 part #3 – Honolulu shopping – Part A
Hawaii 2012 part #4 – The Big Island – Volcano tour
Hawaii 2012 part #5 – Shopping Honolulu – part B
Hawaii 2012 part #6 – Tattoo Honolulu / Boardshorts: A Perfect Fit art exhibits
Hawaii 2012 part #7 – Pearl City area
Hawaii 2012 part #8 – Swap meets and Made in Hawaii festival
Hawaii 2012 part #9 – Cook offs and Car shows
Hawaii 2012 part #10 – North shore
Hawaii 2012 part #11 – Windward shore and Sealife Park
Hawaii 2012 part #12 – Chief’s Luau at Sealife Park
Hawaii 2012 part #13 – South shore – Diamondhead crater, Hanauma bay


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