If you haven’t been to The Contemporary Museum (TCM) on Makiki Heights Drive, here’s my recommendation: GO!

It’s been a favorite spot for Kelly and I for years dating back to when we lived in the Punahou area. While we aren’t die hard art enthusiasts by any stretch of the imagination, the relaxing ambiance of the museum and interesting art always make it an enjoyable experience. And now that Ensen is 10 months old, it was time to take him to the only museum in Hawaii devoted to contemporary art. And we had some fun!


Having fun in with the mirrors and Ensen enjoying Cade Roster’s artwork in the main gallery.

After paying the $5 admission fee (yes, you read that right…$5!), we immediately toured the main gallery and wandered through the Biennial of Hawaii Artists (VIII) show currently in full swing through August 17. According to the TCM Web site:

Inaugurated in 1993, The Contemporary Museum Biennial of Hawaii Artists (VIII) presents a selected sampling of exceptional recent work by Hawaii artists. The selected artists collectively represent the remarkable range of contemporary expression in Hawaii. The exhibition includes seven invited artists: three from Oahu, two from Maui, and one each from Kauai and Hawaii. Each artist is provided with a space and is able to show a body of work or develop an installation.

We saw a lot of great artwork in the gallery, but one artist whose work we enjoyed most was Cade Roster and his mixed-media cartoonish creations. Just brilliant! Here’s a few of his pieces above and below:

For a “real” review of the Biennial of Hawaii Artists show, check out the Honolulu Advertiser’s story “Spacial encounters” which ran this past Sunday.

After touring the galleries and exploring the grounds for over an hour, it was time for lunch at The Contemporary Cafe. This restaurant alone is reason enough to make the trip up the hill. The menu here is unpretentious and simply delivers delicious food! Not to mention, everything is reasonably priced. After feeding Ensen his lunch, it was time for Kelly and me to dig in. I’ll let the photos do the talking.


Lunch began with the Hummus & Pita and Crostini of the Day which came with a garbanzo bean and couscous spread. Both were very tasty and are must orders. My Grilled Vegetable Salad on homemade focaccia bread with a side of hummus was the perfect lunch.


Kelly indulged in the Hot Special of the Day which was a Bacon Wrapped Baked Ahi with a side of wilted spinach and white rice. We usually don’t like ahi cooked all the way through, but we both agreed that this dish was moist, tender, and full of flavor. Pork fat rules! And for the finale, we ordered the Gateau, a layered chocolate cake with strawberry whipped cream in the middle. Decadent!

I’ve never had a bad meal at the Cafe and highly recommend lunch here if you’re seeking something different. The service is great and atmosphere is wonderful. Your family, friends, and colleagues will surely be impressed.

Once again, it was an amazing day at The Contemporary Museum and the first of many more to come for the Kam family. I hear ArtSpree in July is a wonderful event for adults and kids. If the following photos of Ensen in the Cafe are any indication, he’s sure to have a lot more fun getting hands and creating some art. You can bet we’ll be there.

The Contemporary Museum
2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: 808.526.1322
Tuesday-Saturday (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) / Sunday (Noon – 4 p.m.)

The Contemporary Café
Phone: 808.523.3362
Tuesday–Saturday (11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) / Sunday (Noon – 2:30 p.m.)
Reservations recommended.

-NGK

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