Land Division
Site-Specific Installation, 2014-2015
Honolulu Museum of Art
O'ahu, Hawai'i



Curator: Jay Jensen

Material: strawberry guava, steel
Dimensions: 9'-0" L x 4'-0" W x 8’-3” H

The title for this installation comes from the English translation of the Hawaiian word ahupua‘a, or “land division usually extending from the uplands to the sea.” More than a land division, the ahupua‘a is part of an ordered sequence that organizes a watershed—and the resources that flow through it—into continuous, accessible, and productive units of wealth and information.

Today's mainstream approach to land division fragments watersheds into urban, agriculture, and conservation land-use districts. This separates where people live and grow food, and fails to adequately protect the land around streams as the vital connection between mountain and ocean. While 40 percent of Oʻahu is zoned for conservation, these districts often exclude the land around streams, which are channelized and developed as private property. Meanwhile, forests that are “conserved” are often overtaken by invasive species such as strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum, introduced to Hawai‘i in 1825). Together, this decreases the ability for the watershed to attract, filter, and retain freshwater.

Part diagram of the watershed, monument to the moon, time machine, and heretical icon, Land Division is intended to refocus our attention on the ahupuaʻa not merely as a land division, but as an innovative technology that can address the ecological, political, and social issues of contemporary society moving forward into the future.





Project Team: AJ Feducia; Anthony Sands; Andrea Charuk Kevon Schiessel; Chase Javier; Ihilani Phillips; Blythe Nguyen; Krystal Phan; Jonathan Swanz; Ikaika Ramones; Caleb Generoso; Danielle Ulmann; Lauren Livesay; Seiji Miyasaki; Skyelar Brown; Meagan Suzuki; Joseph Nam. Advisors: Trisha Lagaso Goldberg; Leland Miyano; John Koga; Lawrence Seaward. Sources of Wood: Leland Miyano; Rick Barboza; Byron Yeager; Timothy Connelly. Support: Rick Barboza; Alex Connelly; Trisha Lagaso Goldberg; David Goldberg; Blaine Tolentino; Leah Caldeira; Drew Broderick; Kaipo Matsumoto; Travis Flazer; Marika Emi; Karmran Samimi; William Branlund; Adele Balderson; Ara Feducia; Doug Tolentino; Hadley Nunes; Iggy So; Jeff Gress; Lehua Ka'uhane; Vincent Ricafort; Matt Ortiz; Roxy Ortiz; Larry Maruya; Erick Walden; Fritz Oleshansky; Aaron Padilla; Jared Stone; Lesa Griffith; Stephan Joist. Organizational Support: Honolulu Museum of Art; Good Grain, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens, Hui Ku Maoli Ola, Lana Lane Studios.

Selected Press:
Honolulu Star Advertiser
Hawai'i Public Radio
Flux Hawai'i
Honolulu Museum of Art Blog