Solo exhibition Foreign Fruit at University of Hawai’i Commons Gallery, 2015
Foreign Fruit serves as a generic touristic view of paradise, specifically around the symbolic nature of the pineapple. The pineapple represents the transition from my place of origin in Chicago to my now home in Hawai’i. Although they are typically mistaken for an indigenous fruit of the islands, pineapples are transplants, transferred to a new place and grown new roots over time.
The pineapple is connotatively sweet, a symbol of welcoming and “aloha,” yet it is simultaneously a hard, jagged entity, with exterior coarse points and rough edges. It promises warmth and comfort, but holds a suggestion of unease and threat, keeping up a shield as protection from its surroundings. These photos serve as a series of film stills that demonstrate the satirical processes I use to explore how I come to terms with this overwhelming and important shift in my life. From a mainland perspective, the images play on the stereotypical outlook of what life in Hawai’i encompasses. The photographs in Foreign Fruit explore my fragile relationship with my sense of self, place, identity, and the distinction between expectation and reality.