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Title: Waina : a place with water 
Author: Romanchak, Abigail Lee Kahilikia
Date: 2004
Abstract: Waina, my present body of work, is inspired by the traditional watermarks of Hawaiian kapa cloth. In creating this body of work, I envision myself as a contemporary printmaker in dialogue with traditional kapa makers, speaking with ancient predecessors from a twenty-first century standpoint. I am fascinated with kapa because I view it as one of the truest forms of art making. Just as a contemporary printmaker would print designs onto or emboss a sheet of paper, a kapa maker impresses a given design in or on to the kapa cloth. In order to create this dialogue with my predecessors, I researched Hawaiian kapa under the guidance of University of Hawai'i art professor and kapa scholar Maile Andrade. She took me to visit the Bishop Museum's extensive kapa collection where we viewed both sheets of kapa cloth and the implements used to create them. This research allowed me to incorporate elements of traditional kapa within Waina. Some of these elements include multi-layered textures, repetition, and symbols from traditional watermarks. At the same time, this work uses contemporary materials and printmaking techniques to create a personal, symbolic and new meaning. I see my prints as a way to empower and assert a Hawaiian sense of identity and to perpetuate Hawaiian culture through art. Much of my prior work focused on representing customary Hawaiian objects such as canoes, fish hooks, cordage, and wooden tools. While these objects remain a part of everyday life for some people, my art attempts to bring them into the contemporary daily lives of a broader audience. In Waina, the object I have chosen to honor is the watermark found in kapa. Whether I am referencing an ancient artifact to depict beauty or to critique current events, my goal is to make the creations of my kupuna (Hawaiian ancestors) relevant and meaningful to modern-day audiences. I believe that native cultures are jeopardized once they stop speaking to people in the present day. As an artist, I seek to perpetuate traditional culture not through traditional means, but contemporary ones, so that it may endure for generations to come.
Description: Thesis (M.F.A.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2004. Includes bibliographical references (leaf 32). iv, 32 leaves, bound col. ill. 29 cm
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Keywords: Romanchak, Abigail Lee Kahilikia -- Exhibitions, Tapa -- Hawaii -- Exhibitions, Collagraph printing -- Hawaii -- Exhibitions

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