#244: 300L Aquatic Garden Kūpinaʻi o ka Pali (Echo of the Pali)

Steven Chong Honolulu, United States

Awards and Comments

Third Place
I absolutely LOVE the flow of this scape. it is really beautifully done as is the lighting and use of shadows. Beautifully done.
— Karen Randall
Phenomenal hardscape structure with beautiful shadows and a mysterious feeling. Very talented aquascaper keep up the great work!
— Nigel Hoevenaar
Very impactful work that was only fully understood after the author's explanation.
Strength power and grandeur describe this work. Its magnitude compares to the volcanic cliffs and cliffs of the Big Island.
The movement and fluidity of the large vegetative mass on the right contrasts with the powerful line of perspective that flows from left to right and heads toward the end of the aquarium. (*suggestion 1- The stem plants in the void could have a different proportion more delicate as they would give the work even more scale).
Strong and dramatic shadows give this work a wild look. It is possible to feel the force of nature flowing through the mountain cracks.
Impeccable lateral reflections and very well resolved front of the aquarium suggesting a certain continuity of the layout in the observer's unconscious.
And as a final humble suggestion I imagine that if the fish were smaller and were supporting the flow of the perspective the work would be even more valued.
Finally I understood that the "grey sky" was chosen to create the cloud atmosphere but maybe if the sky were more clear or light blue maybe the contrast and point of attention of the work could be stronger. But it is only my personal opinion that don't matter to anyone just a falling love thought.
However this type of work with this concern and care to place the jurors within the idea of the aquascaper all this technique and boldness in developing a new concept a new idea is what makes me feel proud and especially pleasure in being able to judge humbly these wonderful works.
Just one request: One day I would love to see this hardscape without plants as it must be equally powerful if not bigger.
My sincere congratulations you made my day.
— Andre Longarco
Your detailed description of the artwork has been incredibly insightful and helpful in understanding it. It would be wonderful if the artist's intentions could be effectively conveyed to judges in other competitions as well.
At times we draw inspiration from our childhood memories to reflect in our artwork and I'm no exception. Sharing one's own memories with others seems beautiful in itself.
I've always appreciated your artistic style always striving for novelty and exploring your own methods of expression. I believe this is an essential mindset for any artist. Instead of focusing on the shortcomings in your artwork I'd prefer to wholly appreciate the exceptional aesthetic qualities it possesses.
Thank you for this fantastic artwork and congratulations.
— Cho Jaesun

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 120 × 50 × 50 cm
Title Kūpinaʻi o ka Pali (Echo of the Pali)
Volume 300L
Plants Utricularia graminifolia, Myriophyllum guyana, Hygrophila pinnatifida, Micranthemum tweediei, Hemianthus callitrichoides, Microsorum pteropus, Java Moss, Peacock Moss, Flame Moss, Fissidens fontanus, Bucephelandra sp. Various
Animals Hemigrammus rodwayi wild, var. "Blue Line"
Materials Lava Rock
Additional Information Kūpinaʻi o ka Pali is Hawaiian for "Echo of the Cliffs" where "pali" means cliff, but "The Pali", to people from Oahu refers specifically to a stretch of the Koolau mountain range in Nuuanu Valley where I grew up.

Hawaii is actually in the planet's desert belt, sharing its latitude with Mexico, the Sahara Desert, and much of the Middle East. In fact there is much dry desert ecosystem in Hawaii as well. And yet... moisture carried by trade winds over thousands of miles of flat Pacific Ocean crash into our mountains, carve out the handsome cliffs and waterfalls like in the Koolaus, and roll into valleys like Nuuanu as cloud, rain, and watershed. This is what gives Hawaii its rain forests and cloud forests.

I wanted to share a bit of my childhood memory of that beauty-- chilly cloud and light rain drops, ancient green cliffs, and welcomed warmth of morning's early rays creeping into the valley.

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