Lehuauakea Fernandez

Tribe: Kanaka Maoli
Based In: Portland, OR / Hawaiʻi
Email: lehuauakea@gmail.com
Social Media: @_lehuauakea_
Website: lehuauakea.com

About the Art
I am a being — a consciousness within living flesh, blood, and bone.
I am a body — striving for equilibrium in my environment.
I am human — and walk with ancestors who gave me lungs to breathe and hands to create.

I consider my current body of work to be an ongoing journey, a cycle, an ever-expanding spiral of reciprocal give and take. Through large-scale sculpture, hybrid installation, traditional canvas painting, and Native Hawaiian ‘ohe kāpala craft, I aim to address complex subjects of mixed identity and cultural erasure, Indigenous resilience, and ecological decline through a contemporary Hawaiian lens.

In my childhood, I learned from my kūpuna that we all came into being through darkness or pō, birthed from the depths of pōuliuli, formed by the joining of chaos and saltwater. In this time of darkness, was life, as the sea breathed life into all that we know in our universe today. In this time of darkness, too, was death, as it would soon give way to the light of ao and bring an end to the blackest night.

When I look around me, I see many things in chaos, disintegrating, splintering. I cry, and I hear the mountains, the ‘āina, our people crying too, and can’t help but wonder if the cycle is repeating and the rich union of pō and saltwater has returned. This time, what will the night give way to?