Mary Babcock is a fibers and installation artist based in Hawai’i whose work explores “mending” and its implications for cultural change. She is Professor of Art at University of Hawaii, Mānoa and has exhibited at Biennial X, Honolulu Museum of Art/Spalding House, Threshold: Sustainable Art Project at the Ueno Town Museum, Tokyo, Japan; TAMA ’08 (Tupada Action and Media Art); 5th Tupada International Art Event (Philippines); and the 12th NIPAF (Nippon Performance Art Festival).
> LOTIC SEA, 2020 Installation with stitched wax paper, sea salt
"With salt collecting on the floor below the sheet of wax paper references the melting polar ice caps as one source of rising sea levels. On the fragile surface of the paper, Babcock has stitched lines that represent the EEZ borders of a few Pacific Island nations. The islands themselves, outlined with simple holes pricked in the surface of the wax paper, and off to the right of the EEZ lines, appear to have slipped or flowed outside geopolitical boundaries." MORE
Kaili Chun is a Kanaka Maoli artist based in Hawai‘i whose works address ideas of containment and exposure, agency and restraint. Chun’s work has been shown at the Landesmuseum, (Hannover, Germany); University of Alaska Museum; Linden Museum, (Stuttgart, Germany); Museum of Art & Design, (New York, USA); Sacred Circle Gallery, (Washington, USA); The Contemporary Museum, (Honolulu, Hawai‘i); the Wing Luke Museum (Seattle); Galerie Rasch, Kassel, Germany and the Honolulu Museum of Art; and the Honolulu Biennial (2017).
> HŪ MAI, ALA MAI, 2020 3 Ink-jet digital collages on archival paper 24 in. x 96 in.
"The three featured areas concentrate on Waikīkī (bottom), the Honolulu airport (middle), and the Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i, in Kāneʻohe Bay (top). Each map features the projected future inundation scenarios for these shores moving from left to right. Overlaid with fish that get more abundant with the rising waters, Hū mai, Ala mai visualizes how inundation actually beckons a future reconnected watershed, based on its past, which were once filled with schools of ‘o‘opo in the loko i‘a kalo (taro patches that are also used to raise fish), and schools of awa (milkfish), ‘ama‘ama (mullet), swimming up the muliwai (estuary streams) as tidal surges fill estuary ponds." MORE
DAKOgamay is an experimental platform established by siblings Martha Atienza and Jake Atienza, who are based in the Philippines. They create work that responds to social, economic and environmental issues on Bantayan Island, PH, and in the Pacific. They have exhibited at APT8, Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia (2016), I am where I want to be, the Engine Room at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand (2016) and SUNSHOWER at the MORI Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan (2017);Honolulu Biennial (2019).
> TIDAL, 2020 Two-channel video installation
Left screen (Tongatapu, Tonga) 17:16 minutes
Right screen (Bantayan Island, Philippines) 111:6 minutes
"TIDAL is a two-channel video installation documenting the coasts of Tongatapu, the main island of the Kingdom of Tonga, and Bantayan Island, a small island near Cebu in the Philippines. These two Pacific locations have very different histories but face parallel climate change challenges. As rising sea levels affect both islands, their respective governments are exploring the construction of seawalls and other major infrastructural projects to protect coastlines. In the parallel videos, DAKOgamay seeks to understand and experience the linkages between the heating climate, coastal erosion on these two islands, and the complex extractive infrastructures and policy systems that inhibit more local involvement in climate change solutions." MORE
James Jack, is an artist based in Singapore who makes works sensitive to ecological and social networks of the sea. He has made socially engaged work for the Echigo-Tsumari Triennial, Busan Biennale Sea Art Festival, Art x Mix Ichihara, Art Base Momoshima and has a permanent community work at the Setouchi Triennial (2010- ). His works have been exhibited at TMT Art Projects (Fukuoka), TAMA Galley (New York), Satoshi Koyama Gallery (Tokyo) the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. He is an Assistant Professor of Art Practice at Yale-NUS College.
> SEA BIRTH THREE, 2020 4K digital video 15:33 minutes
> SPIRITS OF ŌURA, 2020 Handmade walnut ink on paper 53 x 174.4 in.
> HOME FOR PĪDAMA, 2020 Aged driftwood 29.5 in. x 13 in. x 8 in.
"With SEA BIRTH, a trilogy of video installations about Okinawa, artist James Jack focuses on the resilient sea spirits alive within social and ecological habitats who help communities face multiple environmental threats. In SEA BIRTH three, the final part of the trilogy, the walnut painting sets the scene in Henoko-Ōura Bay and the video provides context for the political contestation over the bay as a new U.S. Marine Corps base is built. The reclamation of land for the immense project signals large concerns beyond the destruction of coral habitats important to the shoreline fisheries. Environmentalists and protestors are also concerned about heavy aircraft noise pollution, outflow of oils, and red dirt running into ocean waters from training sites. The history of toxic substances such as agent orange found in soils of returned lands that were previously sites of bases also informs the protests." MORE
Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner is a Marshallese poet, performance artist, and climate change activist based in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Her writings and performances have been featured by the United Nations, CNN, NBC News, National Geography, Democracy Now and more. In 2014, Jetn̄il-Kijiner was chosen to address the United Nations Climate Summit. In 2015 she was invited to speak at COP21 in Paris, and was selected by Vogue magazine as one of 13 Climate Warriors. Her collection of poetry, titled Iep Jāltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter, was published in 2017. Her installations and performances have been featured at the Honolulu Biennial and APT9 (2019). Joy Lehuanani Enomoto is an artist, scholar and activist of Native Hawaiian, African-American, Japanese, Caddo Indian and Punjabi descent based in Hawai‘i. Her art is concerned with decolonizing geography and her scholarship has been published in the Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics and Amerasia Journal.
> SOUNDING, 2020 Installation with baskets, sounding line, drawing, and sound recording
"Weaving, sound, and water all share a common refractive patterning. Intersecting strands or waves move across space and time, encountering edges, bodies, frames, and then bouncing or looping back. In SOUNDING, Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner and Joy Lehuanani Enomoto explore weaving, sound, and water as responsive structures to the woven histories of colonialism, militarism, and environmental destruction in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Hawai‘i. Jetn̄il-Kijiner and Enomoto's interventions emphasizes the important wovenness of ocean voices, animal and human, to create a decolonizing hydrography of the Pacific." MORE
Charles Lim is a former professional and Olympic sailor, and artist based in Singapore. Lim’s practice stems from an intimate, bodily engagement with the natural world, mediated and informed by field research and experimentation, performance, drawing, photography and video. Since 2005, he has developed a body of work entitled SEA STATE that explores Singapore’s political, biophysical and psychic contours through the visible and invisible lenses of the sea. SEA STATE has been exhibited at Manifesta 7 (2008), and at biennales in Shanghai (2008), Singapore (2011) and Osaka (2013); Venice (2015); Sydney (2016). Various stages of the project have been presented at all of Singapore’s major exhibiting institutions, including the National Museum, National Library, Singapore Art Museum and NUS Museum.
> SEA STATE 9: proclamation, 2017 4k digital video 27 minutes
> SEA STATE 9: proclamation: the sandpapers, 2017 Bookshelf and books
> SEA STATE 9: proclamation: sandgraph, 2017 Photographs
"SEA STATE 9: proclamation is the final chapter (numbered 0-9) in the SEA STATE series begun in 2005. With this body of work, Lim has devoted himself to exploring Singapore’s political, environmental, and psychic relation to the sea. The subtitle of this chapter, “proclamation,” references the Foreshores Act of 1872. This law is a relic of the British colonial system that continues to allow any newly made land, via the legal apparatuses of the state, to be recognized as new national territory. Land reclamation has become an accepted part of the environmental-political-legal system of Singaporean governance. Yet this highly industrial solution of intense urbanification often ignores Singapore’s relationships with its regional neighbors, from which it gets much of its building materials, food, and water. Low-lying rice fields in Thailand and Indonesia are important regions for Singapore’s food supply, and will be impacted greatly by sea level rise. As the regional climate shifts, land and water will be harder to access, and people from neighboring states will seek refuge. This heightens the social and political stakes of Singapore’s current climate solutions." MORE
Angela Tiatia is a New Zealand-born artist of Samoan and Australian heritage who explores contemporary culture, drawing attention the intersection of representation, gender, and neo-colonialism. Tiatia's work has been included After the Fall, National Museum of Singapore (2017/2018); Personal Structures, 57th Venice Biennial (2017); APT 8, Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia (2016); and Tūrangawaewae: Art and New Zealand, Toi Art, Gallery of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand (2018).
> LICK, 2015 Single-channel high definition video 16:9 in color, sound 6:33 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney | Singapore
> HOLDING ON, 2015 Single-channel high definition video 16:9, color, sound 12:12 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney | Singapore
"In these two performance videos, LICK and HOLDING ON, Angela Tiatia collaborates with the rising tides of Tuvalu to invoke the power of the ocean and the presence of her Pacific female body. The performances came out of Tiatia’s growing concern about her coastal family home in Sāmoa. After eight years away, she witnessed a dramatic change in the land and sea. During that time the green grass, taro, hibiscus shrubs, abundant breadfruit, mango, guava, and frangipani trees had all disappeared. They had given way to a thick brown sludge coming up to her ankles. This experience led her to research climate change and to visit Tuvalu, a Pacific Island nation with strong historical, political, and economic connections to Sāmoa. As in much of her work, Tiatia aims to show the rhythmic connections of body, identity, and place. As viewers watch Tiatia’s choreography with the waves, there is a powerful understanding that the ocean does not really pose a threat to her survival. Instead, her concentrated engagement expresses a willingness to experience, understand, and work with the elements and environment." MORE
"The HighWaterLine walk, is a community art project initiated by artist Eve Mosher that has been carried out in previous iterations in New York City (in 2007), Miami, Bristol, UK, and Delray Beach. Using a chalk liner, participants walk the future shoreline forecast due to sea level rise. Christina Gerhardt, who initiated the project in Honolulu, and Adele Balderston, have organized talk story events and walks for the Kaka‘ako neighborhood. In the context of Honolulu, the HighWaterLine can drew on Hawaiian mo‘olelo and its practices of teaching and remembering connection to ‘āina through storytelling. In this respect the project’s goals can complement long-term endeavors of malama ‘āina by Kanaka Maoli and settler aloha ‘āina (GOODYEAR-KA‘ŌPUA) to decolonize geography. Uncovering the histories of colonialism and development in the Kaka‘ako area can further the conversation about how future land development decisions get made. The HighWaterLine workshops provide a provisional model that encourages inclusive sharing and listening as an important contribution to political transformation." MORE
Selections from the Atlas of (Remote) Islands and Sea Level Rise by Christina Gerhardt (author) and Molly Roy (cartographer) is forthcoming for University of California Press. Gallery goers were able to get a sneak preview of selected maps and text of the book, which explains how sea-level rise impacts low-lying islands and how indigenous and local communities are responding.