Mauka // Makai
MEDIA: HANDMADE + PHOTOGRAPHY
DATE: SPRING 2014
CLIENT: PERSONAL PROJECT
In January of 2014, one of my best friends moved to Hilo, Hawaii, to work for the University of Hawaii. I was freelancing and looking for full-time work post-grad school, which he argued I could accomplish from Hawaii as easily as I could from Montana. So I flew down to join him in March and wound up spending two months living on the Big Island.
My only knowledge of Hawaii pre-trip was what I had learned from years of watching the CBS reboot of “Hawaii Five-O”: the high rises and super popular beaches of Honolulu. The Big Island is definitely NOT Oahu, and actually wound up reminding me a lot of both Montana and New Zealand. Hilo is on the “rainy side” of the island, so most of our forrays wound up cut short by an early evening monsoon - but we spent as much time as possible exploring the jungles, the rocky, volcanic beaches and the mountainous interior region of the island.
As soon as I got home, I began assembling a trip journal from the accumulated travel ephemera, photographs, and memories. That initial single trip journal turned into a four volume set, handbound with canvas and batik fabric (pictured above). The pages are a super tactile, hybrid mix of collage, journaling, illustration, and dimensional elements like bottle caps, buttons, chipboard photo frames, Japanese washi tape and embroidery.
The project title “Mauka // Makai” comes from a pair of directional terms used frequently on the Big Island. “Mauka” means towards the mountains, or heading towards the interior of the island and Mauna Loa or Mauna Kea. “Makai” means towards the sea.