My ancestors arrived on the eastern shore of the island of Hawaii in the late 1800’s, for three generations they labored in the sugarcane fields of the Hamakua coast. 20 years since the death of my father and suicide of my Aunt I returned to Hawaii.
Hawai‘i’s complex collective identity is palpable as one looks through the eyes of history and the lens of cultural assimilation and appropriation. A revealing description of this land is that of a former bastion of American colonialism in the middle of the Pacific. Just barely beneath the surface today, this conflict manifests in physical features, economic and social constructs, and the emotional complexity of the islands and its people contrasting with the idyllic backdrop.
Following vaguely preplanned routes, I drove and hitchhiked around the islands. The resulting photographs are a search for home, a collection of cues, markers navigating the fabricated realities of the landscape, ultimately becoming a map of my own history, both inherited and imagined.