A Conversation with Puni Kukahiko on the Halekulani Hotel (page 4)

PK__The right painting is about rebirth using po (mother, night, the beginning of time) to speak about the growing, evolving Hawaiian culture. The irony is that the Waikiki musicians, a symbol of the distorted, kitsch views of Hawaiian culture, are truly a foundation for this rebuilding.


The sound element of this piece has two parts. On the right track is the sound of Hawaiian children chanting a very old war chant for solidarity, I Ku Maumau, there's a sense of war against subjugation and the peace in the security of a new generation.

The left track is a mix of eight versions of the song Waikiki. The versions include instrument and voice of Andy Cummings, Chas Davis, Pua Almeida, Jack DeMello, Georgy Helm, Hui Ohana, Gabby Pahinui, and Emma Veary. These are all musicians we love and respect singing a song rich with images of distorted and romanticized views of Hawai'i. The layering of the versions create an equally distorted, eery, yet beautiful sound.