Honolulu, O‘ahu; b. Hawai‘i
Media: Mixed-media sculpture and installation
We are a destination
An ever-thinning cultural veneer
The violence of leisure blowing in the breeze
Ho brah, where your alahs stay?
E kū hō‘ike.
I am that coconut tree
I am a symbol of paradise
Pulling from the tropical kitsch aesthetic of appropriated novelty items procured from the streets of Waikīkī and e-storefronts on the Internet, I create mashup re-presentations concerned with playfully critiquing the historical, sociopolitical, and aesthetic preconceptions of this place, Hawai‘i nei, our beloved 50th state. As both colonizer and colonized, foreign and local, one and the other, I struggle to situate these new derivatives, whether they are drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, or installations, along the dangerously thin line of the in-between, the 100% hapa. Humorously questioning the contradictory realities of my home, irony becomes a mode of self-reflexivity and laughter an entry point into otherwise repressed conversation.
Recipient of the Violette Wong Hu Award