A few months ago I had a dream in which the mountains were floating, or maybe my body was floating, but either way the landscape and I were both freely floating in the air. I didn’t realize how freely the sculpted mountains could float until last week in the studio when I attached one to the wall. This soon led to a chain of small mountains affixed to the wall, climbing up and down, going out for a walk. The color of the local soil was dramatic on the white surface and a pathway slowly emerged from the entry to Gallery 30 winding toward the back of the gallery.
This indoor installation is tentatively titled Walking Landscape. It is a natural progression—after completing a similar work in 2009 for the Echigo-Tsumari Triennial on the ground, I have been working with the extended surface of the outdoor areas at the Honolulu Academy, and now the miniature mountains have gained a new mobility in the studio. Traveling in and around mountains in our everyday lives is such an ordinary—yet also extraordinary—event. After all, one has to walk in order to experience the landscape, right?
For last month’s ARTafterDARK on May 29, the miniature landscape migrated from the Lilliputian mountains surrounding the raised platform in the Banyan Courtyard to find their way into the smallest corners and miniscule gaps of the Kinau courtyard. ARTafterDARKers were excited to immerse their hands in red dirt and sculpt their own mountains. From Diamond Head to a spiraled peak and many more, their fascinating creations are now part of the outdoor exhibition in both courtyards.
New red dirt samples have come in from Aiea and Kaimuki, with each sample lending its own distinctive color to the display. Interesting responses from soil surveys by the Department of Soil Ontology are coming in from visitors as they reflect on their own relationship to earth. Please download and send in your own response soon so it can become a part of Miniature Landscape for O‘ahu before this residency is finished at the end of this month.