Joseph K Paʻahana
The Artwork of Joseph K. Paʻahana
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Transmuter [2016-2017]


Hawaii In Design [group exhibition]
March 17 2016 - march 12 2017
Honolulu Museum of Art

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HMoA, Arts of Hawai‘i curator, Healoha Johnston invited me to create a video installation for the gallery's 2016-2017 exhibition, Hawaii In Design.

Transmuter is a 13 min animated loop. It was projected 8ft in width. The subject awakens into the world, transcending through different levels in an attempt to reach her highest self, only to return to sleep. As she attempts to perfect her practice she eventually links up fully with her higher self and remains united for a brief moment only to return to sleep. Her conduit to this realm is represented by a the wifi-man a modern version of the ki‘i pohaku (petroglyph). Petroglyphs found across the Hawaiian archipelago, divine figures are often depicted with crescent-shapes bowing overhead, indicating a connection between the human and spiritual spheres.

Hawaiʻi in Design features 10 designers who all reference Hawai‘i's environment—both built and natural—and are at the confluence of deeply rooted aesthetic principals mingled with global impulses. Scholar John Charlot, describes the Hawaiian aesthetic as a reduction of the natural world into form, function, and pattern. Today, designers are responding to urban and rural environments; high rises, synthetic materials, and virtual shopping now naturalized into our lived experience. These designers are responding to the world around them, yet are simultaneously, actively shaping Hawai‘i as a place where local and global trends intersect.

Exhibiting Artist:  Iliahi Anthony, Mark Chai, Koa Johnson, CJ Kanuha, Joseph Pa‘ahana, Salvage Public, Keith Tallett, Matthew Tapia, Eric Walden & Sig Zane

Creative Director, Video & Animation: Joseph Pa'ahana
Photography: Aaron Yoshino
Modeling & Movement: Selena Makaena

Design Steeped in Culture - David A.M. Goldberg - Honolulu Star-Advertiser