View Full Version : Exhibit: Kanu Kahoʻolawe - Replanting, Rebirth, Burke Museum, Seattle

Jan Becket
17-Nov-2016, 00:45
This is a collaborative exhibit with Carl Pao, a Native Hawaiian painter who works in acrylic. Each of my B&W documentary images is paired with one of Carlʻs pieces, which offer a layer of cultural interpretation that I cannot begin to address. The island was off limits for decades, used since WWII as a bombing range by the US Navy, but is now under Hawaiʻi state control. It is a hard place to photograph - I like to work alone, but there one remains with the access group and is under visual supervision by someone trained in UXO (unexploded ordnance) recognition. Most of the time, the groups were amazingly patient with my setting up and taking down the camera (4X5 Ebony). I was there five times, and twice had to float the camera, lenses and film in - and out again - through heavy surf, inside double trash bags. Not an easy place to work. Lots of centipedes and mice ...

The exhibit could easily have been a litany of complaints about what the USN has done to that place, the incredible environmental devastation, but we chose to focus on efforts to restore its environment, efforts to replant Native Hawaiian vegetation and to restore a Native Hawaiian cultural presence.

The Burke exhibit announcement page: http://www.burkemuseum.org/exhibits/kanu-kahoolawe-replanting-rebirth
Carlʻs work is up on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carl-FK-Pao/283349175116620
My own work is up on my web site: www.janbecket.net

The exhibit at the Burke runs from 10/15/16 to 5/10/17.

The 40 in the exhibit announcement refers to the 40th anniversary of the first re-occupation of the island by Native Hawaiians at the beginning of the process to regain control. This exhibit acknowledges and honors those efforts and sacrifices.