XXXHawaii (Bunkers and Highways). 2015. Ink on paper, string, 15 x 7 ft. Site-specific installation, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT.
In the XXXHawaii (Bunkers and Highways) series I am looking at our desire for the pure experience of Hawaii, a fantasy that is always complicated by the equally strong desire for the impure: the commercial, sexual, and nation-building impulse that drives the tourism economy and global marketplace. The triple X is an emblem of vulgarity; it references pornography and the sexual dimension of colonization. The singular X alludes to treasure maps, military forays, and land acquisition. I obscure, veil, contemplate, and deface these images by layering narrative upon narrative: military diagrams, pornographic contours, floral shapes, and Gauguin’s Polynesian imagery.
I am in the process of exploring these ideas in more personal ways through painting. The repetition of the X gesture begins to ask questions about my world, about complicated matters of belonging, homeland, and nationhood in the aftermath of colonialism in Hawaii.