In this section, these conversations with Pacific diasporic creatives, who are exhibiting work in Hawai‘i with a sense of urgency and thought-provoking timeliness, speak to issues surrounding colonial histories, decentralizing narratives, and reframing contemporary views of Hawai‘i. All interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Click on an image below to read each section.
I. Reem Bassous
In memorializing landscapes, the post-war expereince, and immigrant struggles, Painter and educator Reem Bassous isn’t afraid to settle into the shadows of memory and consciousness. Her work is explorative and laborious; it’s physical exercise to excavate the lived experience of growing up amid Lebanon’s civil war.
II. Paul Pfeiffer
THE MULTIMEDIA SCULPTOR
Paul Pfeiffer contributed two installations to the 2019 Honolulu Biennial. One of them, Poltergeist, is a site-specific commision which incorporated the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum as frame and backdrop. The piece allows Pfeiffer, to ruminate on memory, celebrity poverty, sacrality, and the vulnerability of children in the global economy.
III. Lisa Reihana
Inspired by the 19th-century French wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique, Lisa Reihana challenges its colonial depictions through her video installation In Pursuit of Venus [infected], with an expansive and animated narrative, drawing out provocative parallels and brilliantly vivid counter-arguments, all the while exploiting technology’s cinematic advances with marvelous result.
IV. Kainoa Gruspe & Tommy Hite
THE NEXT GEN
Kainoa Gruspe and Tommy Hite’s careers in art has taken off. However, they hardly ever speak about their craft. We brought them together to speak with one another about their practice, upbringings, and what they hate most about painting.
V. db amorin
The artist db amorin’s latest piece, grazed my neck w/ a burnt piece of land in liliha, operates like a magnet. Decentralization and deconstruction are the primary approaches amorin takes in assembling all of his canon, and to the viewers’ benefit: this mode of engagement shows us alternative, non-linear methods of negotiating narrative, history, and identity.