Ponoiwi: An Installation by Kapulani Landgraf

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    Kapulani Landgraf. 'Ponoiwi,' 2012-13. Mixed media.

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    Kapulani Landgraf, kumu hula Vicky Holt Takamine and dancer Ku‘ulei Hazlewood at the opening reception for 'Ponoiwi,' September 2013.

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September 28, 2013 - January 19, 2014
Honolulu Museum of Art

Exhibition Overview

The Honolulu Museum of Art continues its new program of solo exhibitions by contemporary Hawai‘i artists with this installation by Kapulani Landgraf. Trained as a photographer, Landgraf is known for her images and installations that examine historical and contemporary issues and their impact on the culture of the Hawaiian people.

 “As a Native Hawaiian artist, my work is guided by my traditional Hawaiian values, language and culture,” says Landgraf. “I feel compelled to celebrate my Hawaiian culture, but also to express my feelings on the profound changes that have happened and continue to occur in Hawai‘i by ongoing Western intrusion and its impact on Hawaiian rights, values, and history. Although much of my work laments the violations on the Hawaiian people, land and natural resources, it also offers hope with allusions to the strength and resilience of Hawaiian land and its people.”

Ponoiwi reveals the decades-long practice of taking sand from beaches statewide to be used in the construction industry, in particular the ongoing barging of sand from Maui dunes to O‘ahu for beach restoration and golf courses. As Landgraf notes in her exhibition statement, “Native Hawaiians buried the iwi (bones) of their ancestors within the sand dunes throughout Hawai‘i. They believed the mana of the person lived in the bones. Despite legislation providing a process for protecting Hawai‘i burials and the establishment of burial councils for each island, there is a continued pressure to develop Hawaiian āina (land) and Hawaiian iwi are constantly threatened.”

See the museum's blog for a Q+A with Kapulani Landgraf on Ponoiwi.