Meet Marika Emi: Printmaker, Arts Organizer, Community PillarWe gathered a handful of bold creators for whom the uncertainties of the current moment spurred unprecedented leaps of inspiration and resourcefulness. Learn what ingenuities sprang from the obstacles, leisure time, and seclusion of the last year, and follow along as they visit the community spaces where they’ve sought solace and connection on their journeys forward. Introducing Marika Emi.
A pillar in the Honolulu arts community, Marika Emi found innovative ways to foster connection and collaboration during the lockdown. The printmaker and arts organizer never wavered in her commitment to sparking dialogues on issues affecting Hawai‘i and the tropics worldwide. As the founder of the nonprofit publishing imprint, Tropic Editions and editor of its namesake arts publication, Tropic Zine, she's been busy hosting workshops, fundraisers, and digital activations.
“I wanted to give artists an opportunity to socialize, while focusing their efforts on being productive by working through their reactions to a changing world.”
In tandem with her work building community and rallying contributors for the third issue of Tropic Zine, Marika has continued to provide a safe space for creatives and community members as co-director of Aupuni Space, an artist-run gallery, studio, and events space in Kaka‘ako. A formidable presence in the Kaka‘ako neighborhood, Marika maintained a lineup of innovative art exhibitions, virtual gallery openings, and socially distanced talks and film screenings during the pandemic. But like others, she also spent time closer to home, venturing from her apartment in Nu‘uanu to nearby Chinatown to muse over future projects in the historic district’s new and reopened gathering places.
“Artists are often activated by exchange and interaction with the world, whether it be observation, conversation and critique, or simply being around each other.”
Be sure to check out Marika’s publishing imprint, Tropic Editions and its namesake publication, Tropic Zine