Friday, December 7, 2018

Hon Chew Hee, Artist

Hon Chew Hee was born on January 24, 1906, in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii.

1910 United States Federal Census
Name / Age
Jackson Hee, 40 (born in China; private school teacher)
Lee See Hee, 37 (born in China)
Chong Hee, 11
Ngu Hee, 09
Lung Hee, 7
Ku Heem 5
Chaw Hee, 4 (spelling in census)
Bew Hee, 1

Wai J. Char, Tin-Uke Char
Hawaii Chinese History Center, 1988
page 120
…Jackson School was then located on the ewa side of what is today the Smith Street parking lot in Chinatown. Its principal was Jackson HEE, a disciplinarian and academic classicist. HEE had taught Chinese in Lahaina, Hanapepe, and Honolulu, and was editor of the Hilo Sun Wan Daily News, Honolulu’s Hawaiian Chinese News, and New China Press. He retired to China in 1922 at age sixty-one after thirty years in Hawaii. His son is the internationally known artist Hon Chew HEE.
Honolulu, Hawaii, Passenger List
Name: Chew Hee
Age: 15 [sic]
Ship: Siberia Maru
Port of Departure: Hong Kong, December 31, 1920
Port of Arrival: Honolulu, Hawaii, January 23, 1921

Honolulu, Hawaii, Passenger List
Name: Chew Hee
Age: 22
Ship: Siberia President Madison
Port of Departure: Hong Kong, August 14, 1928
Port of Arrival: Honolulu, Hawaii, August 30, 1928

California, Passenger List
Name: Hon Chew Hee
Age: 23
Ship: President Jefferson
Port of Departure: Honolulu, Hawaii, August 15, 1929
Port of Arrival: San Francisco, California, August 21, 1929

1930 United States Federal Census
902 Clay Street, San Francisco, California
Name / Age
Hon Chew Hee, 24 (head of the household had no occupation)
Hung T. Leong, 32 (lodger was a newspaper printer)

Honolulu, Hawaii, Passenger List
Name: Chew Hee
Age: 26
Ship: President Jackson
Port of Departure: San Francisco, California, July 1, 1932
Port of Arrival: Honolulu, Hawaii, July 7, 1932

Honolulu, Hawaii, Passenger List
Name: Chew Hee
Age: 26
Ship: President McKinley
Port of Departure: Honolulu, Hawaii, July 21, 1932
Port of Arrival: Hongkong, August 8, 1932

Daily Worker
(New York, New York)
June 26, 1937
Art Patrons Exhibition [the second annual National Exhibition of American Art]
…In such a large show there naturally would be a fair amount of good pictures and sculpture. From the Hawaiian Islands Hon Chew Hee sends a colorful canvas of Waimea Canyon and Madge Tennent a violently flickering “The New Holoku.”…
The New York Times
June 20, 1937
The Municipal Art Committee Assembles Work From Every Part of the Union
A way out in the Hawaiian Islands Hon Chew Hee has painted the unholy splendor of color in Waimea Canyon….
1940 United States Federal Census
1011 Pawaa Lane (rear), Honolulu, Hawaii
Name / Age
Sam W Young, 31 (head of the household)
Bertha C Young, 29
Mary Ann Young, 8
Vernon Young, 5
Donna Young, 3
Chock Ying Young, 19
Yen Sau Young, 17
How Chew Hee, 32 (lodger, art teacher)

New York Sun
February 24, 1940

(New York)
March 3, 1940
New Gallery
As its premier exhibition, the Schoenemann Galleries have selected a group of 43 watercolors and drawings by Hon Chew Hee, who was born in Honolulu of Chinese parents.

Single figure studies dominate the show. “Sleeping Chinese Boy" is easily the outstanding paper here. In most of his subjects, Hon Chew Hee concerns himself chiefly with the silhouette outline characteristics of his sitters, indicating the merest suggestions of form beyond the two dimensional aspect. He is a promising young artist, with keen observing faculties and cleverness of hand. 

As a member of the Hawaiian Mural Guild, Mr. Hee does himself an injustice by omitting group compositions from this exhibit.
The New York Times
March 3, 1940
A Reviewer’s Notebook
Very indirect and dilute is the oriental influence in the water-color drawings by Hon Chew Hee, a Hawaiian-born Chinese, whose work may be seen at the Schoenemann Gallery, 605 Madison Avenue. Most of his subjects are in the figure field and they are distinguished by cleverness and fluency of line. One seated nude suggests a Daibutsu; another curiously resembles a Rodin wash-drawing. It is light and charming depiction, most of it quite personal.
World War II Draft Card
Name: Hon Chew Thomas Hee
Age: 34
Birth Place: Kahului
Birth Date: January 24, 1906
Residence Place: Honolulu, Hawaii
Registration Date: October 26, 1940
Employer: Ko Fong Lum
Weight: 120
Complexion: Light Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black
Height: 5 4
Next of Kin: Ko Fong Lum

October 12, 1945
Marjorie Wong Is Bride of H.C. Hee, Honolulu Artist

Kingston Daily Freeman
(New York)
July 11, 1949
Woodstock News
Art Exhibition Is Opened at Gallery; Will End July 20
Woodstock, July 11— One hundred and 31 painters and eight sculptors are represented in the art show which opened Friday afternoon at the Woodstock Art Gallery. Sponsored by the Woodstock Artists Association, the exhibition is said to be the most comprehensive show of the season.

Paintings by prominent artists are hung with those of students and artists who are not so well known. The unusual variety of the work on view tends toward a most interesting exhibition. It is a non-jury show and required only, that the work meet size limitation, under 30 inches including frame. The show will continue until July 20 and will be open to the public weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The exhibition includes…Farmer's Blessing, Hon Chew Hee…
Honolulu, Hawaii, Passenger List
Name: Chew Hee
Age: 43
Address: 1039 Wong Lane, Honolulu, Hawaii
Ship: Ile de France
Port of Departure: New York, New York, September 7, 1949
Port of Arrival: Le Havre, France

The Chinese in Hawaii: A Historical Sketch
Robert M. Lee
Advertiser Publishing Company, 1961
The Group, which later became affiliated with the Chinese Art Club of San Francisco, had headquarters in the studio which John C. Young, the first president, and Hon-Chew Hee, the first treasurer. It was above M’s Tavern at Fort and Merchants Sts.

August 22, 1993
Air Terminal for Hawaii
A new Interisland Terminal has opened at Honolulu International Airport on the island of Oahu in Hawaii….

The Interisland Terminal is planted with flora native to Hawaii, including lauae fern, mondo grass and palm trees. Two 180-foot-long murals depicting Hawaiian legends and cultural scenes, painted by the late Hon Chew Hee, hang in the main lobby….

Further Reading and Viewing
WikiVisually (scroll to bottom)

(Next post on Friday: Peg O’Wing, Actress)

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