Mayumi Hamanaka, Adrienne Heloise, Ian Kuali'i, and Kai Margarida-Ramirez de Arellano: de Young Artist Fellows

Mar 12, 2014

Image featuring four panels of cut-paper artwork and text reading “Paper and Blade: Storytelling Under the Knife” on black background.

Image courtesy of the artists.

Paper and Blade: Storytelling Under the Knife

SAN FRANCISCO (March 12, 2014)—The de Young will host artists Mayumi Hamanaka, Adrienne Heloise, Ian Kuali’i, and Kai Margarida-Ramirez de Arellano through March 30, 2014, as part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s Artist Fellows program.

Though all four work with cut paper, the artists have dramatically different styles, subjects, and cultural backgrounds that shape their art in unique ways. Paper and Blade: Storytelling Under the Knife will explore how the artists’ identities interact when faced with variations in nationality, beliefs and family history. While engaging in an experimental installation, the artists will discover where their artistic processes collide and diverge.

Hamanaka, Heloise, Kuali’i and Margarida-Ramirez de Arellano have found that working with paper requires a methodical, sometimes tedious approach. It is a fragile medium, constantly at risk of damage. The collaborative paper installation artists in Kimball Education Gallery will explore how the creative process is influenced by such a delicate medium in addition to looking at the concept of reconstructing lost or misplaced memories and history.

Mayumi Hamanaka is a photographer and installation artist who seeks to examine the relationships between individuals, mass society and ties to physical place. Her current individual project, Invisible Lands, uses cut paper to create topographical maps. Originally from Japan, Hamanaka has looked at thousands of photographs rescued after Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in March, 2011. Through Invisible Lands, she hopes to recreate an ephemeral place that no longer exists, but which is still tied to so many people’s memories. Hamanaka received her MFA from California College of the Arts and her work has been exhibited throughout the Bay Area, including at Headlands Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and San Francisco Art Commission Gallery. She has also exhibited in New York and Taipei. For more information about Hamanaka, visit

Adrienne Heloise is a collage artist based in Oakland. Using brightly colored pastel paper as well as the unique patterned interiors of security envelopes, Heloise creates scenes recalling Napoleonic battles and medieval life. She aims to redefine traditional notions of male relationships by creating a sense of intimacy and tenderness within the traditionally masculine and violent context of warfare. Heloise was born in Santa Rosa, CA, and received her BA in psychology from Humboldt State University. For more information about Heloise, visit

Ian Kuali’i combines loose graffiti techniques with detailed cut paper to create opposing dynamics within his complex compositions. Kuali’i describes his artistic approach as “The meditative process of destroying to create,” during which he experiments with both rough and delicate handling of artistic materials. Born in Fullerton, CA, and now living and working in New York City, Kuali’i’s art delves into his ancestral history, which has ties to the Southwest and Hawaii. His work also includes Masonic symbolism, mysticism, political themes and urban decay, as he places personal family history within the context of modern progress. For more information about Kuali’i, visit

Kai Margarida-Ramirez de Arellano’s work centers on her own family stories and archived family photos. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in New Mexico, Margarida-Ramirez de Arellano’s dual heritage and sense of home greatly influence her work. Through paper cutting and embroidery, she visualizes a family history that she does not remember, but that she has internalized through shared stories, poetry, embroidery and photographs. She seeks to establish a relationship with her ancestors and give history a visual presence in contemporary society. Margarida-Ramirez de Arellano is based in Brooklyn, NY, and is currently completing her MFA at Parsons The New School for Design. For more information about Margarida-Ramirez de Arellano, visit

Patrons are invited to visit the Artist Fellows in the Kimball Education Gallery Wednesdays through Sundays from 1‒5 p.m. and Fridays 1‒5 p.m. and 6‒8:30 p.m.

An Artist Reception will be held in the Kimball Education Gallery on March 28, 6‒8:30 p.m.

The exhibition Paper and Blade: Storytelling under the Knife will be on view at Galería de la Raza, 2857 24th Street, San Francisco, April 12—May 25.

The Artist Fellows program is made possible with major support from the James Irvine Foundation’s Innovation Fund. Programs are presented in partnership with Kua’aina Associates and Galería de la Raza.

Visiting \ de Young
Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. Open Tuesdays–Sundays 9:30am–5:15pm, last ticket 4:30 pm. Fridays (March 29–November 29) 9:30am–8:45pm, last ticket 8 pm. Closed Mondays.

General Admission
$10 adults, $7 seniors (age 65 and over), $6 youths (age 13‒17) and college students with ID. FREE members and children 12 and under. FREE general admission the first Tuesday of each month. Additional fees apply for special exhibitions

Tickets can be purchased on site and at the de Young’s website. Tickets purchased online include a $1 handling charge.

Group ticket reservations available by emailing

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, are the largest public arts institution in San Francisco.

The de Young originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition and was established as the Memorial Museum. Thirty years later, it was renamed in honor of Michael H. de Young, a longtime champion of the museum. The present copper-clad, landmark building, designed by Herzog and de Meuron, opened in October 2005. It showcases the institution’s significant collections of American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries; art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international contemporary art.

The Legion of Honor was inspired by the French pavilion, a replica of the Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris, at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915. The museum opened in 1924 in the Beaux Arts–style building designed by George Applegarth on a bluff overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Its holdings span four thousand years and include European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West.

Media Contacts
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