Kai Haliʻa

Angelique Kalani Axelrode

September 8–10, 2023

Kai Hali‘a (Sea of Memory) is a semi-autobiographical film and accompanying immersive installation that explores memory from a sensual, feminine, Kānaka ʻŌiwi diasporic perspective, rather than its traditional and phallic orientation. Seeing memory as an intricate ʻupena of both intangible and tangible threads of reality, intertwined with visceral feelings that intimately connect us with our kūpuna and the ʻāina, the act of remembering becomes our way back to our core.

Kai Haliʻa weaves video, light, water, and sculptural objects in an immersive setting. Folding in set pieces and objects used in film production, the installation invites viewers to interact with video projections, obscuring the visuals and spawning animations through their movement within the space. Its images are atemporal, constantly shifting and evolving, revealing memory’s dynamic and malleable nature, and the line between viewer and creator is indistinct, reflecting memory’s capacity to simultaneously experience and reimagine.

The movement in Kai Haliʻa is an exploration of how the body remembers and dances across generations and identities, and how the ‘iewe, or umbilical cord, is the bridge from the past/pō and into alternative futures.

Memory is the ocean, to swim is to remember.
And our bodies do not forget.

Angelique Kalani Axelrode is an award winning filmmaker and activist based in unceded Tongva/Gabrieleno land (Los Angeles).

Currently a TRADES A.i.R. Artist in Residence at Aupuni Space on Oʻahu, they have spent the last few months building their craft and reconnecting with friends, kūpuna and ʻOhana.

With a background in dance and training as an ʻōlapa (hula dancer), she harnesses the body's intelligence by using movement in her films to convey what words cannot.

Angelique’s work is heavily influenced by their identity as a multiracial, Kānaka ‘Ōiwi queer person. On a lifelong journey to understand her multifaceted reality and embrace vulnerability, she uses filmmaking as a tool to self-explore and connect with community.

Contributing Artists:

Angelique Kalani Axelrode - Writer, Director, Producer
Brigitte Leilani Axelrode - Choreographer, Performer
Trisha Hattie Perreira-Axelrode - Performer, Set Mom
Kalikopuanoheaokalani Aiu - Performer
Tiare Ribeaux - Producer, Set Design, Costume
Vincent Bercasio - Director of Photography
Be Ho Castle - Still Photography
Kilani Villiaros - First AC
Andrew Tabora - Styling
Casey Lamb - Drone Operator
Aiala - Costume, Underwater Camera Operator
Bill Martin - Underwater Camera Operator
Katherine Wong - Production Design
Jill Baker - Line Producing, Production Design
Daisy Chen - Animations
Alec Singer - Projectionist
Gladstone Butler - Sound Design
Eugene Yu - Second Unit First AC
Rochelle Yu Ash - Second Unit Second AC
Bryant Castillo - Production Assistant
Shelby Osides - Styling
Kano Watanabe - Set Design and Makeup Artist

With Support from:

Bryan Spicer - Executive Producer
Kawika Hoke - Executive Producer
Sight & Sound Productions - Executive Producer