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In a day and age when most résumés read like media sound bites, when they show only the tip of the iceberg because as institutions, businesses, and individuals, we are too busy doing our "thing", that's just what we've come to expect. Certainly, one could argue that a résumé more than two pages long leaves us at risk of being bogged down in the irrelevant and immaterial, to the extent that we might find out what the writer had for breakfast over the last ten years.

Would minutia of that kind help us get to know who that person on paper really is? And would we care? Probably not. But, what if a sixteen page résumé was so well crafted, so engaging, that by the last page you come away with the distinct impression that you have just read the table of contents to a prolific, significant, and productive artist's life story. Almost like the recital of an artistic genealogy. That is what I found myself sensing as I looked through Kapulani Landgraf's résumé while developing this narrative.


'Ō'ō     silver gelatin collage with wana spikes


'Eli'eli kapu     silver gelatin collage


Regardless of how much the résumé says about the paper artist, the real stuff is in what you see. My first encounter with that was her exhibit at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Schaefer International Gallery in 2002 (IMAGES OF A SACRED NATURE). The photographs were stunning in their craftsmanship but, more importantly, in clarity of concept, and the poetic flow of images. Over the years since that exhibit, I have watched her work evolve, shift, and change, pushing boundaries between photography, sculpture, and writing, all with a passionate concern for her Hawaiian heritage and cultural issues.

'Āpuakēhau heiau          hand-etched silver gelatin print          text  


Piko ka moku     Installation: kapa wrapped silver gelatin kā'ai, wana, marlin bills, burnt kukui shells, and silver gelatin collage

Giving voice to such things is never easy, there is always a risk of becoming preachy, even heavy-handed in message and content, closing doors rather than opening. That is not the nature of Landgraf's works. They do not decorate. They educate, challenge, and make us think. Those are the things even the best of résumé’s can only hint at.


Kū'ē i ka hewa     hand-woven silver gelatin collage with square-head iron nails


Kapulani Landgraf is an Instructor of Photography and Hawaiian Visual Art at Kapi'olani Community College.

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Having landed at Waikiki, Kauhiakama, a chief of Maui was met by Oahu chiefs and slain. His body was exposed at the heiau of 'Apuakehau and great indignities were committed with his bones. Years later, Kahekili, a noted descendent and king of Maui avenged this outrage in the battle of Niuhelewai, defeating Kahahana and conquering Oahu. This was in 1783, and is not unlikely that the Papaenaena heiau was erected by Kahekili in recognition of his victory, and ignoring the prominent temple of 'Apuakehau at Helumoa, whose altar was so defiled by the ignominious treatment of his illustrious ancestor. This temple was long demolished, not a stone being left to mark the site of the 'Apuakehau heiau.