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Department Exhibits for 2008

Asia Collection

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Asia Collection

Illustrated Animal Tales from Asia: Books for Children & Sources for Storytellers

11/12/08 - 12/31/08

Children's books from Hamilton Library's Asia Collection and Juvenile Collection are on display. Colorful illustrations from twenty-three animal tales from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam include a magpie and a grateful ant; a trickster rabbit and a crocodile; an ungrateful tiger; a sick caterpillar; the beckoning cat from Japan; two herons and an unwise tortoise; a persevering bear; befuddled monkeys; and more.

Two types of folktale indexes, tale-type and motif indexes, are featured in the last display case for "Finding Tales" both for comparative folklore research and for storytelling. (Motifs are the smaller, salient elements within a tale.) Included are Stith Thompson's revision of Finnish folklorist Antti Aarne's original classification The Types of the Folktale: A Classification and Bibliography (1928, rev. 1961); Thompson's six-volume Motif Index of Folk Literature (rev. ed. 1955-1958); Margaret MacDonald's The Storyteller's Sourcebook: A Subject, Title, and Motif Index to Folklore Collections for Children (1982); Hans-Jorg Uther's three-volume The Types of International Folktales: A Classification and Bibliography (2004); and separate indexes for folktales from several Asian countries. A bibliography of research tools: "Selected Sources for Asian Folktale & Motif Research" was compiled for the exhibit.

Illustrated Animal Tales from Asia

The exhibit was assembled by Linda Laurence with cultural and/or installation assistance from the following staff: Julie Lee, Alicia Yanagihara, Yi Lee, Etsuko Chopey, Daniel Kane and Kyle Sasaoka.

Apsarases in Art & Literature

09/10/08 - 10/31/08

From the Rg Veda in India, ca. 1200-900 B.C.E. ~ to a 12th century Cambodian king's "Mount Meru" on earth ~ to Japan's 1993 "flyby" lunar orbiter "Hiten/Hagoromo" ~ to the 2008 Olympics opening ceremony "fei tian" dance in China, apsarases have held an enduring place in the imaginations of storytellers and artists all across Asia.

The current Asia Collection exhibit features photographs of stone-carved apsarases at three temples in Cambodia (Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, and Banteay Srei) by Rohayati Paseng, Hamilton Library's Southeast Asia librarian, and includes displays of artistic, literary, and research sources.

Apsarases (from Sanskrit "moving in/on water") are flying, immortal, female celestial beings from Indra's heaven ('Svarga'), associated with clouds and mists; with waters, oceans, and skies; and with dance and music. Folklore motifs bear some resemblance to Western swan-maidens.

The origin of apsarases is linked to the myth of the "churning of the milky ocean." Historical legends link them genealogically to numerous sages and rulers, including Bharata of India and the kings of Angkor.

Apsarases in Art and Literature

Ryukyu/Okinawa: Culture & Trade


In celebration of the July 1st Opening of the UHM Center for Okinawan Studies, the Asia Collection Department has kicked off the new display of "Ryukyu/Okinawa: Culture & Trade." Much like Hawaii, Okinawa was a kingdom (Ryukyu Kingdom) until 1879. Situated among China, Taiwan, South Korea, and the mainland Japan, the Ryukyu Kingdom flourished because of trade. The display focuses on the flow of culture, ideas, and people in and out of the Ryukyu Kingdom to Asia, Pacific & the Americas, and Japan.

From July 1, the Center for Japanese Studies will present two exhibits of Okinawa Performing Arts and links between the University of Hawaii and Okinawa at Hamilton Library's Bridge and Phase II Galleries. Enjoy the summer of Ryukyu/Okinawa.

Ryukyu/Okinawa: Culture & Trade Ryukyu/Okinawa: Culture & Trade

South Asian Dance: Bodies in Motion

04/08 - 06/08

The new exhibit in the Asia Collection titled "South Asian Dance: Bodies in Motion," was designed in conjunction with the UHM Center for South Asian Studies' 25th Annual Spring Symposium on "The Body in South Asian Contexts," April 10-11, 2008. The Symposium will be held at the Center for Korean Studies and is free and open to the public. The exhibit coordinators are Linda Laurence and Monica Ghosh. Saris and ornaments in the exhibit are on loan to the library from Sonja Sironen, MA student in the Theater and Dance Department

exhibit on South Asian Dance exhibit on South Asian Dance

Kim Chong-ho, Father of Korean Cartography and his "Complete Map of the Great East"

12/07 - 01/08

In 1861 the enigmatic Korean cartographer Kim Chong-ho produced a map of his country that until his day and for many years afterward was the most accurate, detailed, and shall we say "user friendly" map of Korea ever produced. Both Kim and his map remain today the foci of scholarly attention and Korean national pride.

This display sought to introduce both Kim Chong-ho the figure and the great map he produced: Taedong yojido, or "Complete Map of the Great East". In a series of three display cases were presented Kim Chong-ho the man, his unique and groundbreaking map, and finally the legacy that Kim left behind. Included in the final case are Hamilton library resources, including maps, books, and even electronic resources, concerning Kim and his map.

This exhibit was the first collaboration between the Hamilton Library's Asia Collection and the Map Collection. One of the exhibit's highlights is 1:5 scale reproduction of the map which was accomplished by scanning each of the map's 22 individual elongated sheets, stitching them together digitally, and printing the resulting image out using the library's newly acquired map scanner and printer.

The exhibit runs from December 1, 2007 to January 31, 2008.

exhibit on Kim Chong-ho Kim Chong-ho's legacy map

Chinese Picture Story Book Exhibit


Lian Huan Hua literally means "linked serial pictures." They are pocket sized picture-story books first published by a Shanghai publisher in the 1920s. Lian huan hua is also commonly known as Xiao ren shu, children's book for their simplicity and heraldic subjects. They combined pictures with text. Unlike the western comic books, the text is usually placed either at the bottom or on the right side of the picture, rather than issuing from the characters' mouth in balloons.

The origin of lian huan hua in China is hard to trace. However, there are two recognized forerunners of this popular medium, the traditional drawings in Chinese classical literature or popular romantic novels and Chinese New Year's pictures (nian hua). Many story books of the Song (A.D. 960-1279) and the Yuan (A.D. 1279-1368) dynasties often had illustrations at the top of each page, including The Water Margin (Shui hu zhuan) and Romance of the Three Kingdoms (San guo zhi). During the Ming (A.D. 1368-1644) and the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, popular romantic novels, such as The Dream of the Red Chamber (Hong lou meng) and The Romance of the Western Chamber (Xi xiang ji), often included portraits of the main characters at the beginning of the novels and sometimes at the start of each chapter. Traditional Chinese New Year's pictures are often colorful prints of stories of legendary heroes and episodes of operas. Tales such as Twenty-Four Legends of Filial Piety (Er shi si xiao) is one of the favorite subjects of New Year's pictures.

In the early 1920s, lian huan hua first appeared mainly as adaptations of Jingju (Peking Opera) and Chinese literary classics. The pictures were created mostly in line drawings, sketches, and oil-wash painting. After the People's Republic of China (PRC) was founded in 1949, lain huan hua became an extremely popular art form and was used to popularize new government policies and regulations. From 1951 to 1956, more than 10,000 titles, and approximately 26 billion copies were published in China.

The popularity of lian huan hua diminished in 1966 at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution (1966 to 1976); however, the publication was revived by Premier Zhou Enlai in the early 1970s with heroic stories of the time that were used as a propaganda tool. From the late 1970s to mid-1980s, lian huan hua became an important source of education and entertainment for children and adults alike. With a wide range of other reading materials appearing in China during the 1990s, lian huan hua lost its glamour. Since 2000, lian huan hua started appearing in shops and are hot collectible items in China today.

The Hamilton Library's China collection has collected more than 150 titles of lian huan hua that were published mostly during the Cultural Revolution, particularly between 1971-1976, when the publication of lian huan hua was rare and difficult at that time.

For the exhibit, the China Specialist Librarian has selected some representative titles and placed them in the display cases on the 4th floor of the Asia Collection.

Visit Hamilton Library's Digital Collection to view more than 150 colorful bookcovers.

exhibit case exhibit case
Lenin worker

Science and Technology


12/01/08 - 12/29/08

What beach do you swim at? Shark attacks can occur anywhere at any time, but are there certain locations around Hawaii that shark attacks happen more often than others? Come and look at the map and other statistics related to shark attacks as well as shark jaws, teeth, a fin, and sharks in jars. Visit the display, which will be up until December 29, in Hamilton Library's Science and Technology Reference Department.

Curator: Sarah Myhre


The Year of the Potato

09/08 - 12/08

The United Nations declared 2008 the International Year of the Potato. To learn why, and to discover more about the "humble" spud, please visit the International Year of the Potato display in Science and Technology Department this month. You can also read more about IYP here:

The assistance of Eileen Herring, Pat Polansky, Salim Mohammed, and Brandon Sekiya is gratefully acknowledged.

Year of the Potato

Government Documents

Special Collections


by Hanalei Abbott, 06/01/08 - 07/01/08

Hiking offers residents and visitors abundant opportunities to experience Hawaii's unique natural environment. The state-run Na- Ala Hele program manages a large network of publicly accessible trails throughout the islands suitable for people of all levels from beginners to experienced hikers. The current display showcases several of the hiking guidebooks available in the Hawaiian Collection, describes a few convenient hikes on O'ahu, offers some tips on basic hiking safety, and provides contact information for local hiking organizations.

Check it out. Pick up a hiking safety brochure.

hiking poster hiking display

Albert Wendt Exhibit

03/08 - 05/08

Special Collections is pleased to announce the exhibition of a set of paintings by Samoan novelist, poet, and essayist Albert Wendt. One of Oceania's single most important (and prolific) writers and scholars, Wendt is also an accomplished visual artist. Over the course of the last three years, during which time he has served as Citizen's Chair in the UH-Manoa Department of English, he has produced a substantial body of artwork. On exhibit through the end of May in the Special Collections reading room are ten of these paintings, including selections from the "Koolau" and "Pele" series, as well as other Hawaii- and Pacific-themed works.

poster poster

Hawaiian Invaders

03/08 - 06/08

Exhibits on invasive species in Hawaii.
poster poster

Hawaii: One Hundred Years Ago


This exhibit features publications from 1907 including pa'u riders in a floral parade, a souvenir booklet from the Congressional party visit to the Islands, a report on Kalaupapa, "reclamation" of Waikiki, and Henry Cabot Lodge's book, "Hawaii."

poster display case

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