Tropical 0, Disturbance 1, is a title wall and concept for a group show at the Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco, CA. My gratitude goes out to Trisha Lagaso Goldberg curating an impactful show and for inviting me to design the promotional material and continue the dialogue on the adjacent wall space.
My initial goal was a self criticism on the work I do in media and the tourism industry; the rhetoric I use everyday talking about Hawai‘i as a sense of place, an escape, as a place of commerce. Also, I felt a sense of responsibility to visually represent a thoughtfully curated group of Hawai‘i artists in a way that led the viewer to each unique dialogue. Through semiotic process, I learned how dogmatic the definition of the word Tropical (Hawai‘i) is on a visual level, whether it be denotative or connotative. Focused on trying to find the right metaphor, I realized the act of meaning making feels like a back and forth agreement and disagreement between the signifier and the signified (the form and the concept)–an act of winning and losing, giving and taking. That thought led me to visualize Tropical Disturbance as the game PONG: one of the earliest arcade games. Removed of the “tropical” connotation, black and white in form, and focused on the exchange of meaning. Who is winning? What is Hawai‘i?
Video animation by Mitchell Fong