Betty Jane Lau

Mauna Kea / Powehi (2019)
52 x 46 in.

“I left my home in Hawaii a long time ago. Because of the pandemic it is now a risk to travel back to visit family and friends. This new reality has me confronting the issue: is my “home” a specific geographical spot on earth? Do I identify with my past community even if I am not currently living in the community? I was born and raised in Honolulu, do I still consider Hawaii my home?

I wove ‘Mauna Kea/Powehi’ during a time of political and spiritual turmoil. Some Hawaiians regard Mauna Kea as their original spiritual home. Scientists want to build a telescope on the mount to find a powehi, i.e. a black hole. The name ’Powehi’ comes from a Hawaiian origin chant meaning “an embellished dark source of unending creation”. Hawaiian protesters want to save their “home”. Scientist want to search for a black hole that all matter is pulled through; a portal perhaps leading to our ultimate “home”.

One definition of ‘home’ is where you go to replenish yourself. ‘Home’ is not only a place but a state of mind.”

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© Betty Jane Lau