6' x 8' x 9'
CASE is a large-scale indoor installation using live native Hawaiian plants, soil, rocks, plastic and wood. Within a transparent greenhouse-like structure, an interior space is filled with a collection of native Hawaiian plants. Like a bubble colony on the moon, the lush greenery contained in a sealed box indoors, is evocative of the isolated, contained island paradise Hawaiʻi represents.
In the 19th century, Wardian cases were an early version of the terrarium, enabling Victorian plant collectors to transport exotic plants to Europe. CASE is a metaphor for protecting Hawaii’s natural resources, as well as the commoditization of the same resources to be shipped abroad for commercial and personal uses. This modern-day Wardian case of native Hawaiian flora could one day in the future be hidden away in private homes and botanical gardens in other parts of the world. Whether we resign ourselves to losing humanity’s ongoing struggle to find a balance within nature, it exists as a quiet space for viewers to confront our destructive and creative totality within the world ecosphere.
Exhibited at the Hawaii Pacific University Art Gallery in Kaneohe, HI May 5 - June 28, 2019.