Piʻilani Yamanoha (she/her) is a mixed-Native Hawaiian artist from the Big Island of Hawaiʻi and moved to Oregon to attend college. She is currently working on her BFA at Portland State University and is interested in exploring mediums such as screenprinting, block prints, and mixed media sculpture.
“The summer of 2020, I started to study linoleum block prints and it reminded me of storybooks I read as a child about Hawaiian mythology. I became inspired and wanted to create a piece that told a part of my story. This artwork is the vision I have when I think about my biological mother. She is seen working in the kalo fields on a cloudless day, investing herself into the land. She has always been this way and now living on the “mainland”, I often wish that I had taken more opportunities to be more involved like her while I was still living in Hawaiʻi.”
— Piʻilani Yamanoha
These linoleum cut prints are recent works by Yamanoha that speak to the artist’s upbringing in Hawaiʻi on several levels. We were drawn to the story behind the images and the connection between Yamanoha’s biological mother warmly reflected in the figure’s gestures toward the kalo (taro) plants. The artist also speaks to levels of displacement, a common theme throughout the exhibition, and how she now wishes to be more involved in these activities given her residence on the continent today.