This thesis, fueled almost equally by both my research process and creative practice, addresses the need for a cross-cultural alliance within the realm of global environmental sustainability efforts. From my own experience and background as a mixed-Native Hawaiian individual living in the context of contemporary ecological decline, I explore this concept of cultural integration in relation to Indigenous knowledge and western sustainability science.
Using traditional Native Hawaiian craft juxtaposed with modern western art media as conduits into this discussion, I posit the possibility of a constructive, beautiful, and mutually beneficial union between two disparate cultures. Furthermore, I ask what role ancestral Native Hawaiian values and epistemologies might have along a sustainable path forward, and how these teachings may be integrated with others in a contemporary changing world.
This body of work looks to the ancient wisdom held within the — in the water, the land, and the many beings that inhabit them — and asks how this knowledge can be applied to a more equitable, sustainable collective future. But perhaps of greatest importance within this research- and craft-driven practice lies the pivotal question: how does the fluid meeting place of river and sea provide insight into the necessary resolution between distant cultures, varied knowledge systems, and contrasting ways of being?