Thursday, August 25, 2016

KANU Kahoʻolawe: Replanting, Rebirth

The KIRC is proud to partner with visionary artists Jan Becket and Carl Pau to introduce "KANU Kahoʻolawe: Replanting, Rebirth,” an exhibition of paintings and black and white photographs to be premiered at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress 2016 (Sept 1-10, 2016 | Honolulu, HI).

A collection of artwork inspired by Kahoʻolawe’s history, culture and community impact, “KANU Kahoʻolawe” celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first landing to protest the island’s control and use by the U.S. Navy as a bombing range. It is also a tribute to those who have made a lifetime commitment of Kahoʻolawe. (Right: Kiʻi Pohaku, Carl Pao)

“Of course this includes George Helm, Kimo Mitchell, the original PKO members of 40 years ago,” remarks artist Jan Becket, “In addition, it includes all of those who work for the State of Hawaiʻi and have taken on the restoration of Kahoʻolawe Island as a life project and challenge. The on-the-ground practical knowledge they have accumulated — what works and what doesn‘t — is of immense value.”

The smallest of the 8 main islands in the Hawaiian Archipelago, Kaho‘olawe is 11 miles long, 7 miles wide and comprised of approximately 28,800 acres. Decimated of its natural environment through years of over-foraging and military bombing, an estimated 1.9 million tons of soil is lost annually on Kaho‘olawe to erosion. Severely eroded landscapes cover one-third of the island, with runoff choking the Reserve’s pristine reefs and significantly impacting the ocean ecosystem. Its inventory of 3,000 historic sites and features - all part of the National Register of Historic Places - are in constant need of protection from these damaging circumstances. Despite an extensive, 10-year cleanup by the U.S. Navy, unexploded ordnance (UXO) litters one-third of the island plus all surrounding waters, leaving areas off-limits and life-threatening. (Below: Puʻu O Moaʻula Iki, Jan Becket)

The Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) was established by the Hawai‘i State Legislature in 1993 to manage the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve while held in trust for a future Native Hawaiian sovereign entity. Its mission is to implement the vision for Kaho‘olawe Island in which the kino (body) of Kaho‘olawe is restored and na po‘e o Hawai‘i (the people of Hawai‘i) care for the land.

A treasured resource for all of Hawaii’s people, Kahoʻolawe is of tremendous significance to the Native Hawaiian people and to the hundreds of students, researchers, conservationists and community members who volunteer on and for the Reserve each year.  Together with dozens of grant partners, 10,000-plus community volunteers to date and stewardship partners Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana (PKO), the KIRC works to restore, protect, preserve and provide access to Kaho‘olawe. (Right: Lele, Carl Pao)

Please join us in celebrating this thoughtful exhibition at one or more of the following:

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress 2016 (Sept 1-10, 2016 | Honolulu, HI)
  • Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Oct 15, 2016 - May 6, 2017 | Seattle, WA)
  • Dawson Art Project Gallery (Summer, 2017 | Honolulu, HI)
  • Hawaiʻi State Capitol building (Jan. 15 - Feb. 15, 2017 | Honolulu, HI)

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