Commissioned by the curators of CONTACT 2015, A Battle of Narratives is a mixed-media art installation by artist Solomon Enos. The artwork’s metaphorical landscape explores the exponential changes that took place in Hawai‘i between the 1880s and 1930s — the Americanization of the Islands. In format, the piece is presented much like an architectural or real estate development model: Resting upon a pedestal, its topography is based on maps of O‘ahu. However, the landscape is populated not with structures, but with anthropomorphic figures of greed and symbols of protection. The hand-sculpted, hand-painted figures represent deities from Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Samoan, Korean, and Filipino cultures. The intertwining complexities of the composition remind us that there are many sides to every story, making A Battle of Narratives a provocative visual around which to start an engaging dialogue.
A Battle of Narratives, 2015, mixed-media, 96" x 96" x 36" (tall)