Solomon Enos imagines the Hawaiian wa‘a (canoe) and its intrinsic form, functions, and societies beyond our present reckoning. Created for the group exhibition Wa‘a + Lewa: Reflections on Voyaging, these futuristic wa‘a belong to the sci-fi narrative Polyfantastica, an ongoing body of work that envisions an alternative realm of Pacific cultures and spans across 40,000 years.
In the Polyfantastica narrative, Mutu expansionists use their weather-augmenting technology to power their scattered armada and to defend their newly conquered seas. The Opoata warships are living vessels that bleed and heal and eat the many corpses that are left after battle. The small but elite ‘Ianoto navy use a secretive sonic technology that calls the winds to its sails.
Beyond the Polyfantastica narrative, these futuristic wa'a point to the ongoing evolution of canoe technology and voyaging as a living tradition that will continue to bring humanity to new frontiers.
Mutu “Cloud Eater” Class Acquisition Waka, Year 731, 2017, acrylic on paper, 24” x 18”, private collection
Opoata “Bloodwall” Class Battle Waka, Year 731, 2017, acrylic on paper, 24” x 18”, private collection
‘Ianoto “Windward” Class Battle Waka, Polyfantastica, Year 731, 2017, acrylic on paper, 24” x 18”, private collection