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Open Access Publications from the University of California

ʻĀina in Contemporary Art of Hawaiʻi


In this article, Healoha Johnston considers how five contemporary artists describe the interconnectivity of the environment and aloha ʻāina through their work. Recent installations and exhibitions featuring artwork by Bernice Akamine, Maile Andrade, Sean Browne, Imaikalani Kalahele, and Abigail Romanchak engage issues of sustainability, articulate genealogical connections to ʻāina, and decribe the possibilities for regenerative relationships to ʻāina through materials, form, and content. This essay considers the impact of the 1970s Hawaiian Renaissance as a cultural and political movement that re-centered the relationship between Kānaka and ʻāina, and catalyzed Hawaiʻi’s contemporary art scene with a political dimension that visualized Kanaka ʻŌiwi resurgence.

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