No drama in a ‘Medium White Tee’


President Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng gave the opening remarks for artist Emily Spivack’s “Medium White Tee” installation at Ward Village Jan. 11, 2017.

In an homage to Barack Obama’s presidency, the Honolulu Museum of Art and Ward Village will present Brooklyn artist Emily Spivack’s “Medium White Tee,” a pop-up T-shirt shack,” at Ward Centre, from Jan. 12 through Feb. 12, 2017.

Spivack came up with the idea after reading the New York Times article  “Obama After Dark: The Precious Hours Alone,” in which Rahm Emanuel, then the president’s White House Chief of Staff, said that they dreamed of moving to Hawaii “to open a T-shirt shack that sold only one size (medium) and one color (white),” signifying a life free from making tough decisions.

In the process of staging the show, Spivack found many willing to contribute talent and resources as a thank you to the president.

Among those lending their support were:
• Ward Village, which donated the installation space
• GRT Architects designed the space
• Stephanie Hsu, a local architect, was instrumental in ground organizing
• Print All Over Me provided 1,000 USA-made medium white T-shirts
• HONBLUE provided printing
• Nan Inc. contractors built the space
• Re-Use Hawaii provided raw materials
• CHIPS provided graphic design
• The No. 29 provided public relations and communications support

During the showcase, presented as a space for contemplating the significance of decisions made by any leader, visitors will be able to purchase a medium white T-shirt, at $44 each, beginning Jan. 12.
There will be a grand opening from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 11, with opening remarks by the president’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, who gave her brother the very first limited-edition Medium White Tee as a holiday gift.
“Medium White Tee” will be open at the Diamond Head end of Ward Centre from noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays to Sundays from Jan. 12 to Feb. 9, 2017.