ʻAi Pōhaku Press
Piliāmoʻo: Mark Hamasaki & Kapulani Landgraf
Hardcover, 168 pp.
Early 2016, public programs focused on, or inspired by the book, Ē Luku Wale Ē will take place in Honolulu and on the neighbor islands co-sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities. More information can be found at hihumanities.org.
The largest and most extensive public works project of its time in Hawaiʻi, the H-3 freeway drew more protest and opposition than any other project in the islands before it or since. Ē Luku Wale Ē is a lament, in words and images, for what has been lost in the wake of the construction of the massive freeway on the island of Oʻahu. Beginning in 1989, and working collectively as Piliāmoʻo, photographers Mark Hamasaki and Kapulani Landgraf captured a ravaged landscape after work crews had gone home. The photographs in Ē Luku Wale Ē allow new generations to bear witness retrospectively to the changes in the land as they were taking place. Contemporary life encourages us to trade what we should value spiritually and culturally for material wealth. The photographs and verses of Ē Luku Wale Ē embody the belief that what has been lost in the islands is a rootedness in the land. As the islands enter a new century, new development will raise the same questions again and again: How much of what we say we value are we willing to sacrifice in our pursuit of prosperity and comfort? How sustainable is our drive for commercial gain, and at what point is the destruction of the land and native culture so great that it irretrievably damages our quality of life? Is there any way to stop traveling down the path of continuous destruction?