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13

Jun
2009

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Hawai’i Spends $1.4 M to Restore Capitol Mosaic

On 13, Jun 2009 | No Comments | In Et cetera | By man-admin

Tadashi_Sato_Aquarius_PhotoPeterTYoung

Tadadshi Sato “Aquarius” 1969 (Restored 2009) Hawaii State Capitol   Photo: Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts

Aquarius Capitol Rotunda

(Note:  This article was updated in August 2014)

Aquarius, a mosaic designed by internationally renowned abstract expressionist Tadashi Sato (1923 – 2005) is being renovated as part of a$1.7 million makeover of the State’s Capitol. The brilliant 36-foot diameter work is of submerged stones under water.

Aquarius 1970 Capitol Rotunda

Seen above during the 1970 installation, the original mosaic comprised over 6 million Italian glass tiles. Sato, a native son of Hawai’i, devoted his work to celebrating the natural beauty of the islands, especially the waters surrounding the islands.  In 1965, he was honored by President Lyndon Johnson at the White house in a ceremony that also recognized George O’Keefe and Jackson Pollack.
The current renovation of the 36′ in diameter mosaic will again use Italian tiles and is being installed by the German-based company Franz Mayer. Improvements to the site’s drainage systems and design are also being made. Completion is scheduled for this August.
"Aquarius" Restoration 2008  Photo via Hawaii House Blog

“Aquarius” Restoration 2008 Photo via Hawaii House Blog

UPDATE:  

Photo:  Peter T Young

Photo via Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts

In an excellent 2013 blog post, Peter T. Young notes:

Coincidental, but symbolic of the diversity of cultures in Hawaiʻi, in this most recent replacement/repair, a crew of six (Hawaiian, Filipino and Portuguese (from Hawaiʻi,) and German, Polish and Italian (from abroad)) set the new tiles in place.

Young also mentions that amongst the millions of white, green and blue tiles, the Italian artisan added one, single red one.  The next time we are in Honolulu, we will definitely search for it.

Photo Paul T Young

Photo Paul T Young

Photo Paul T Young

Photo Paul T Young

Photo Paul T Young

Photo via Wikipedia Commons

To learn more about Tadashi Sato, click here

To read Paul T Young’s article to the mosaic and see more photos, click here

One more good reason to go to Hawai’i.

Enjoy — Nancie

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