HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle’s official State portrait was unveiled this evening at a ceremony held at Washington Place. The portrait of Governor Lingle standing in the garden at Washington Place is the first official portrait of a Hawai‘i Governor that was painted by a local artist since Governor John Burns, and the first portrait of a Governor wearing a flower lei.
Governor Lingle’s portrait was painted by local artist Christy Fujii. The Governor selected Fujii after seeing a painting of Queen Emma that the artist had done for The Queen’s Medical Center. While Governor Lingle reviewed portfolios of other artists who expressed interest in painting her portrait, it was Fujii’s stirring portrait of Queen Emma that won the Governor’s final approval. Fujii was commissioned by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.
The oil on canvas portrait was painted by Fujii from a digital photograph of Governor Lingle that was taken by local photographer Ric Noyle. Fujii painted the portrait over a span of seven weeks. The portrait, which measures 36 inches by 48 inches, is framed in a six-inch wood frame with four layers, the largest part being koa wood, and gold highlights. The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts budgeted $35,000 for the portrait. The final cost for the photo, portrait and framing came in under budget at $16,350.
The portrait will be installed next week in the Executive Chambers at the Hawai‘i State Capitol, alongside the portraits of Hawai‘i’s past 11 Territorial Governors and five State Governors. Governor Lingle’s portrait will hang next to the portrait of Governor George Ariyoshi in the Ceremony Room where State visits, news conferences, proclamation ceremonies and other official events are held.
The unveiling ceremony at Washington Place was hosted by the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and the Board of the Friends of Hawai‘i Robotics.
Governor Lingle chose to highlight one of her Administration’s key initiatives, educational robotics, as part of the unveiling.
About the Artist
Christy Fujii, owner of Christy Fujii Gallery in Chinatown, is a contemporary landscape artist that utilizes elements of impressionism in her pieces. In her childhood years, she would sketch portraits and images from her hometown of Gyongju in South Korea. She began to work with oil paint in her early teens and moved to Hawai‘i in 1973. Inspired by the beauty of the islands, she enhanced her painting skills and learned to incorporate the palette knife under the guidance of her mentor, George Eguchi. Each of her paintings reflects her imagination, her talent, and her love of art. Fujii is currently a member of the Korean Artist Association of Hawai‘i.
About the Photographer
Ric Noyle, born in Capetown, South Africa, has resided in Honolulu for the past 30 years. In this time, Noyle’s award-winning work has been used and enjoyed by his vast worldwide clientele. He operates Ric Noyle Photography, a full-service commercial photography studio and specializes in photographing people, food and resorts. In addition to his assignment work, he also maintains an extensive stock library which contains more than 30,000 images of Hawai‘i. Noyle has become a leader in the field of digital photography over the past years. He has produced many catalogs, aerials, murals and advertising material with his state-of-the-art digital scan backs.
Submitted by Ron Yamakawa, Executive Director, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts