Noah Harders

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Art Design Photography

In Bold Self-Portraits, Fantastical Masks Camouflage Noah Harders in Flora and Fauna

October 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate mask of aqua jade flowers.

“First Time, Face to Face” (2021), blue jade flower. All images © Noah Harder, courtesy of Honolulu Museum of Art, shared with permission

Native Hawaiian artist Noah Harders takes a whimsical approach to style in Moemoeā, his first institutional exhibition opening next week at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Translating to dream or fantasy, the show’s title offers a conceptual, political, and aesthetic foundation for Harders’ vast array of works that transform crustacean shells, skeletal remains, lush jade flowers, and other organic matter into sculptural wearables. The fashions are intricately constructed and mask most of the artist’s face as he captures their sprawling forms through bold self-portraiture, which he describes as fostering a connection between himself and the found objects. He explains:

When I put on these masks, I feel like I am embodying the spirit and essence of seemingly ordinary materials that can be found around us…These pieces are a way for us to step out of the harsh reality we are consumed by every day and simply have a moment to dream and feel inspired by what surrounds us on this earth.

Moemoeā runs from November 3, 2022, to July 23, 2023. Dive into Harders’ extensive archive of headdresses on his site and Instagram.

 

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate mask of plumeria flowers.

“Resilience” (2020), plumeria (frangipani)

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate mask of red torch ginger.

“Lead The Way” (2022), red torch ginger (etlingera elatior)

Artist Noah Harder wearing elaborate masks of koa leaves and lauhala.

Left: “Modern Warrior” (2022), koa leaves (Acacia koa). Right: “Two Worlds Collide” (2022), lauhala (pandanus tectorius) and crinum amabile

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate mask of lobster shells.

“The Depths” (2021), lobster shell

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate masks of spiny lobster shells and fish bones.

Left: “ Looks Can Be Deceiving,” (2022), spiny lobster shells, 22.25 x 28.25 inches. Right: “Life After Death” (2022), fish bones

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate mask of mink protea.

“Malolo” (2022), mink protea

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate mask of white king protea.

“Pecking Order” (2022), white king protea (protea cynaroides)

 

 

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