Joan Mitchell Center Residency, 2013
Painters & Sculptors Grant, 2010
My work negotiates ideas of containment and exposure, agency and restraint. Process and materials transform physical spaces into unique environments that comment on contemporary issues. I often construct narratives through symbols and objects that address the impact of historical events on the present day. Organic elements are sometimes included in my installations, and the changes they undergo during the course of an exhibition metaphorically reference the nature of culture as an evolutionary process.
I also attempt to examine the distinctions between western and indigenous epistemologies and the effects of one upon the other, while exploring seemingly disparate cultural principles and ideals which are, in fact, shared. In communicating the observations and experiences of life from a Native Hawaiian perspective, I hope to encourage both native and non-native people to embrace the values and ideals we share, and purge harmful practices that consistently challenge and transform the identity of the indigenous person.
Additionally, I am exploring the complex relationship between the work of the hand and the work of the mind; between the sacred and the secular; and between western and native forms of spirituality. Specifically, I am looking at how these distinct approaches have impacted indigenous peoples historically in ways that continue to exemplify contemporary controversies surrounding aboriginal identity.
Furthermore, the tensions that persist between western and indigenous ways of knowing and understanding the world, serve as catalysts for demarcating sculptural forms of containment that serve not only as reminders of the many ways in which each person is shaped and constrained, but as negotiable boundaries between inside and outside, between concealment and revelation.”