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The Living Place

Honolulu is a mosaic of boxes. Adjacent to the city, in the coastal waters, corals are creating reef out of calcium carbonate that they pull from the seawater. If you look closely, the reef has tiny divots where an individual coral polyp resides.  When you see the reef as a whole, the separation of each polyp’s experience is not evident, but yet each individual gathers food, reproduces, fights, and rests as a single being.  

The boxes in Honolulu’s landscape of high rises also house individual creatures. Looking out from my own box, the view of the buildings threatens my individuality. But yet, from the inside, an entire universe of experience. Each box contains the perceptions of one being looking out upon the world.

We are nature, along with everything else. Like the corals, we build our great structures and gather our resources and fight our battles. We are subject to the checks and balances like every other living thing, but this does not mean we are separate. We are it.  

There is no us and them. There is no inner and outer. From the perspective of whichever structures house our perception, we are faced with these false dichotomies. As we enter our boxes and gaze out on others in their own living spaces, we can see that – like the corals – we not only need one another, we are one another.

Portfolio exhibited in 2021 Contemporary Photography in Hawaii Exhibition

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