In Collaboration with Various Artists, Educators, Poets, Activists, & Friends

 

"Mahalo to all the people that worked along side me to create art. In all my experiences, I have learned the most through my interactions with all of you."

 

 
This art piece is inspired by Bryan Kuwada's poem, "We who share breath" (featured below) We who share breath "Our word for breath is ea. Ea is breath is life, ea is life is sovereignty, ea is sovereignty is rising, ea is breath is breath. Rising. This is what lay between us as my forehead pressed against yours, our noses touching, our lips a breath apart. Our eyes are closed to imagine the future, to see beyond the horizon. I walked the land you exhaled looking for my moʻolelo, perhaps it had found home there, sheltered in your words. Growing across this distance. Joining my hand at your hip and shoulder. When you shared your breath, I heard the flutter of stone wings taking flight, feathers clattering to the ground like pebbles, witnessed how you found bravery by stepping into the sea from a great height. A breath and then ea. You once told me you were broken, and that lay like breath between us as well. Yet here wind from our lungs wraps around our wounds, light showing through where we are both shattered and coming apart. Breath and touch are meant as salves on our skin, healing together these wounds we suffered apart. You are a star, a dancer. I am a stone worn smooth by waves. Not meant to stand so close, pressed together in an embrace. Sea meets sky meets river, and here we are. Water, and air, and blood. This is what we have shared. A confluence of ea. My breath stands witness to your flight, as you exhale ʻāina rising from my ocean. Lean toward me, my friend, and let us share breath again. "  

This art piece is inspired by Bryan Kuwada's poem, "We who share breath"
(featured below)

We who share breath "Our word
for breath is ea. Ea is breath is life,
ea is life is sovereignty,
ea is sovereignty is rising, ea is
breath is breath. Rising. This
is what
lay between us as my forehead
pressed
against yours, our noses touching,
our lips
a breath apart. Our eyes are
closed
to imagine the future, to see
beyond the horizon.
I walked the land you exhaled
looking for
my moʻolelo, perhaps it had found
home
there, sheltered in your words.
Growing
across this distance. Joining my
hand at
your hip and shoulder.

When you shared your breath, I
heard
the flutter of stone wings taking
flight, feathers
clattering to the ground like
pebbles, witnessed
how you found bravery by
stepping into the
sea from a great height. A breath
and then
ea.
You once told me you were broken,
and that lay like breath between us as
well. Yet
here wind from our lungs wraps
around our
wounds, light showing through
where we are both
shattered and coming apart.
Breath and touch
are meant as salves on our skin,
healing
together these wounds we
suffered apart.
You are a star, a dancer. I am a
stone worn
smooth by waves. Not meant to
stand so close, pressed together in an embrace.
Sea meets
sky meets river, and here we are.
Water,
and air, and blood. This is what we
have
shared. A confluence of ea. My
breath stands
witness to your flight, as you
exhale ʻāina rising
from my ocean. Lean toward me,
my friend,
and let us share breath again. "
 

"Yumi harim karai bilong ol brata susa blo yumi na yumi tanim baksait. Wan solwara, yumi i mas kirap na sanap wantaim West Papua." -Aravapo Leo Last year my mentor Lyz Soto gave me a "We Bleed Black and Red" shirt that motivated me to educate myself on the Indonesian occupation of West Papua. For myself as a Polynesian artist in the Pacific, I decided to start an artistic campaign using face painting as a platform to try and help bring more awareness to the plight of the West Papuan people that has been mostly ignored and silenced for more than fifty years. One year later, the news from West Papua has not gotten any better. One year later the genocide of West Papuan people continues. One year later, there is still so much silence in my home and my area of the world surrounding West Papua's struggle for independence from an Indonesian government that cannot defend its own track record of human rights abuses and political corruption against the West Papuan people. One year later we still bleed black and red. As I write this, I am working in the Marshall Islands and fortunate to collaborate with Aravapo Leo, a PNG muralist. My criticism of my own work has been that it lacks representation from the Melanesian region of the Pacific. Thank you, Apo for allowing me to use your face as a canvas, to share your words, representing Melanesia. I offer part of this poem again. It was written last year by myself, Harrison Ines, Sarah Daniels and Malia Derden. Please feel free to share, to listen, to start a conversation. Dear world what is it like to be a secret keeper? To have the military force innocent blood into your clenched fists and ask the victim to apologize What will we do then? How do we fight back when every dawning voice gets turned into dusk? how much stomach does it take to join the revolution? what is time but what we remember? what is distance But what are afraid to touch? Dear world, we are here today in the Pacific to make a difference We make a difference by giving voice to the silenced to give voice we wrote this poem to write this poem we first learned how to listen

"Yumi harim karai bilong ol brata susa blo yumi na yumi tanim baksait. Wan solwara, yumi i mas kirap na sanap wantaim West Papua." -Aravapo Leo

Last year my mentor Lyz Soto gave me a "We Bleed Black and Red" shirt that motivated me to educate myself on the Indonesian occupation of West Papua. For myself as a Polynesian artist in the Pacific, I decided to start an artistic campaign using face painting as a platform to try and help bring more awareness to the plight of the West Papuan people that has been mostly ignored and silenced for more than fifty years. One year later, the news from West Papua has not gotten any better. One year later the genocide of West Papuan people continues. One year later, there is still so much silence in my home and my area of the world surrounding West Papua's struggle for independence from an Indonesian government that cannot defend its own track record of human rights abuses and political corruption against the West Papuan people. One year later we still bleed black and red. As I write this, I am working in the Marshall Islands and fortunate to collaborate with Aravapo Leo, a PNG muralist. My criticism of my own work has been that it lacks representation from the Melanesian region of the Pacific. Thank you, Apo for allowing me to use your face as a canvas, to share your words, representing Melanesia. I offer part of this poem again. It was written last year by myself, Harrison Ines, Sarah Daniels and Malia Derden. Please feel free to share, to listen, to start a conversation.

Dear world what is it like to be a secret keeper?
To have the military force innocent blood into your clenched fists and ask the victim to apologize
What will we do then?
How do we fight back when every dawning voice gets turned into dusk? how much stomach does it take to join the revolution?
what is time but what we remember?
what is distance But what are afraid to touch?
Dear world, we are here today in the Pacific to make a difference
We make a difference by giving voice to the silenced to give voice we wrote this poem to write this poem we first learned how to listen

In collaboration with Aotearoa Poet, artist, & educator: Grace Taylor. Model and poem by Grace Taylor. Creative Creation by Jocelyn Ng. "I am told The gloy of my jaw is the most seductive thing about my body. This gold is inviting. This gold is poisoning. Many have left with rust bittne teeth."

In collaboration with Aotearoa Poet, artist, & educator: Grace Taylor.
Model and poem by Grace Taylor.
Creative Creation by Jocelyn Ng.

"I am told
The gloy of my jaw
is the most seductive thing about
my body.
This gold is inviting.
This gold is poisoning.
Many have left with rust bittne
teeth."

In collaboration with PNG muralist Aravapo Leo & Marshallese Poet Kathy Jentil-Kijiner. For anyone reading this post, this face paint honors the mural done by a group of Marshallese youth in Apo's art class this week. (Please see part 1 to see the mural). Below is a beautiful poem by Kathy Glass Marbles I am a mouthful of glass marbles a rolled tongue stuck raw in my clogged throat white man’s burden boiled syrup sweet slowing down my speech When I was six I moved to Hawai’i learned my name was no longer Dede it was Kathy I became blacktop negotiations tetherball tied tongues a new culture to learn When I was 22 I moved back to Majuro a small strip of land an ocean of knowledge I no longer knew a sea of blank spaces a place that was no longer home When I was 24 another Micronesian told me that girls like me are westernized americanized therefore lost I stood and watched my cousin tattoo a stick chart into her back the buzz of ink a map to find our way back home When I was 26 I saw my last name spelled proper just how it sounds for the first time jetn̄il-kijiner realized I been shaping it wrong all these years for colonial ears to hear jet-nil kijiner how do you say your name? how do you say your country? Where is your country? Show it to me Dance for me Hang on the wall for me I am a burden of representation I am boxed in at the bishop museum An indigenous voice woven for your display Here you go step right up listen To this poet listen to this Native tongue - look She walks and she/ Talks too But before I was A label verifying contents before I was a glass cage before the water creeped up to our shores before I learned Not To trust that tide Before I was confronted with roots grown braided into a plastic umbilical a mountain of trash that’s consumed our home Before I was four I was crouched slippers on the dirt path outside my house shooting marbles watching this world through a sea glass glow

In collaboration with PNG muralist Aravapo Leo & Marshallese Poet Kathy Jentil-Kijiner. For anyone reading this post, this face paint honors the mural done by a group of Marshallese youth in Apo's art class this week. (Please see part 1 to see the mural).
Below is a beautiful poem by Kathy Glass Marbles

I am a mouthful of glass marbles a
rolled tongue
stuck raw in my clogged throat
white man’s
burden boiled syrup sweet slowing
down my speech
When I was six I moved to Hawai’i
learned my name was no longer
Dede it was Kathy I became
blacktop negotiations
tetherball tied tongues a new
culture to learn
When I was 22 I moved back to
Majuro
a small strip of land an ocean
of knowledge I no longer knew a
sea of blank spaces
a place that was no longer home
When I was 24 another
Micronesian told me that girls
like me
are westernized americanized
therefore
lost
I stood and watched my cousin
tattoo a stick chart into her back
the buzz of ink a map to find our
way back home
When I was 26 I saw my last name
spelled
proper just
how it sounds
for the first
time jetn̄il-kijiner realized I been
shaping it wrong
all these years for colonial ears to
hear jet-nil kijiner
how do you say your name? how
do you say your country? Where
is your country?
Show it to me
Dance for me
Hang on the wall for me
I am a burden of representation
I am boxed in at the bishop
museum An indigenous voice woven for
your display
Here you go step right up listen
To this poet listen to this
Native tongue - look
She walks and she/
Talks too
But before I was
A label verifying contents before I
was a glass cage before
the water creeped
up to our shores before I learned
Not
To trust that tide
Before I was
confronted
with roots
grown braided into a plastic
umbilical a mountain of trash that’s
consumed our home
Before
I was four
I was crouched slippers
on the dirt path outside my house
shooting marbles watching
this world through a sea glass glow

Model: Grace Taylor Poem: Jocelyn Ng & Lyz Soto Creative Creation: Jocelyn Ng "First: call me leviathan dream me devourer of children plague of my own flesh. Second: say no. Eater of worlds would have too much power in her belly. Strip me of fangs and marry me. Third: watch this world, make her chimera, and call her only the wife of a monster. Say even your stray pieces belong to a king."

Model: Grace Taylor
Poem: Jocelyn Ng & Lyz Soto
Creative Creation: Jocelyn Ng

"First: call me leviathan
dream me devourer of children
plague of my own flesh.

Second: say no. Eater of worlds
would have too much power
in her belly. Strip me of fangs
and marry me.

Third: watch this world,
make her chimera,
and call her only the wife
of a monster. Say even your
stray pieces belong to a king."

Images for Grace Taylor's 2nd Book, "Full Broken Bloom" Model: Grace Taylor Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Photographer: Jakob Bauwens Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Grace Taylor's 2nd Book, "Full Broken Bloom"
Model: Grace Taylor
Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Photographer: Jakob Bauwens
Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Grace Taylor's 2nd Book, "Full Broken Bloom" Model: Grace Taylor Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Photographer: Jakob Bauwens Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Grace Taylor's 2nd Book, "Full Broken Bloom"
Model: Grace Taylor
Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Photographer: Jakob Bauwens
Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Lyz Soto's Poetry Series Model: Jahra Rager Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Photographer: Jakob Bauwens Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Lyz Soto's Poetry Series
Model: Jahra Rager
Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Photographer: Jakob Bauwens
Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Lyz Soto's Poetry Series Model: Jahra Rager Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Photographer: Jakob Bauwens Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Lyz Soto's Poetry Series
Model: Jahra Rager
Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Photographer: Jakob Bauwens
Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner's 2017 Honolulu Biennial Installation Model: Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Photographer: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner's 2017 Honolulu Biennial Installation
Model: Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner
Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Photographer: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner's 2017 Honolulu Biennial Installation Model: Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Photographer: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner's 2017 Honolulu Biennial Installation
Model: Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner
Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Photographer: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner's 2017 Honolulu Biennial Installation Model: Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Photographer: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner's 2017 Honolulu Biennial Installation
Model: Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner
Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Photographer: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Lyz Soto's Poetry Series Model: Bryan Kuwada Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng Photographer: Jakob Bauwens Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng

Images for Lyz Soto's Poetry Series
Model: Bryan Kuwada
Creative Direction: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Make up: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng
Photographer: Jakob Bauwens
Photo Editor: Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng