World-Renowned Interactive Art Comes to Kapolei

Over the past few days, a representative from Maui-raised Jen Lewin’s Brooklyn art studio has been setting up and testing a new interactive art exhibition on The Lawn at Kapolei Commons. Thursday night, Aqueous made its official Hawaiʻi debut.

With its winding circular shape and welcoming lights, kids know exactly what to do when they see it—make a beeline and start running all around. As they run, the pressure of their feet activates colored lights.

kids running aqueous kapolei commons
The interactive sculpture travels the world. The studio rep told me that one recent stop was an Imagine Dragons concert in Vegas. Another was Sydney Vivid. Burning Man and SXSW, too. This thing gets around as much as the Hōkūleʻa.

The colors and the shimmering surface of Aqueous was inspired by the visual landscape of Lewin’s childhood in Kēōkea. Light streaming through clouds over reflective water formed the backdrop of her first memories, and those visions inform her work today.

Especially as dusk turns to night, the sculpture seems to float on the landscape. It is powered by simple electricity, but you won’t see the cords unless someone points them out to you. The Kapolei Commons’ developers did a custom electrical job to make the installation work.

The best time for pictures is dusk, as the lights get brighter but there’s still enough ambient light for your iPhone. About 6pm you can get shots like this:

dusk aqueous kapolei commons

Aqueous will be in place through December 31. As the holidays get closer, the area will transform into an outdoor festival of sorts at night, with food trucks ringing the lawn as kids put on a light show. Think of it like an outdoor ice rink, but you don’t have to rent skates.