I was born in Hawaii and grew up in Nu’uanu Valley, which is in Honolulu, on the island of O’ahu.
Members of my father’s family immigrated from Japan to Hawaii four generations back, and my mother’s family relocated from Germany and Europe to North America in the late 1800’s.
I spent much of my childhood, and continued throughout adulthood, to explore the forests and mountains of O’ahu and the Big Island of Hawai’i. From older generations and hiking companions I learned facts and fictions about the flora, fauna and geography of the islands. As a teenager I spent summers working in the volcano area of the Big Island and this experience has had a strong influence on my artwork themes and imagery.
After attending university in California and Iowa, I moved to England to teach fine art, and then worked with an arts organisation in Brighton.
I have continued to travel ‘home’ from England to Hawaii as much as possible, and in doing so I am able to observe the subtle and dramatic changes within this unique place over a lifetime. Although separated in time and space from my formative years, the distance between my two dwelling places serves to intensify and distil certain memories in a way that nourishes my art.
Much of my autobiography, fact and fiction, can be found in the artwork.
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS AND PROJECTS
The Leaping Place (installation), Pu’u-Ohia, Honolulu, 2016
A Princess in Hove, drawings for film by Jane Couldry, Hove Museum, UK, 2015
32 Paintings, Phoenix Brighton, 2013
Luakaha (painting installation), Nu’uanu, Honolulu, 2008
Reunion, Rochester Gallery, Rochester, Kent, UK, 2006
The Contemporary Museum at First Hawaiian Center Tenth Anniversary Exhibition, Honolulu, 2006
Draw: Recent Work by Hal Lum and Karin Mori, The Contemporary Museum at FirstHawaiian Center, Honolulu, 2005
2009 - 2020: Artistic Programme Manager, Phoenix Brighton. I developed and managed a year-round programme of curated contemporary exhibitions and associated activities and events.
1992 - 2009: Founding member and part of the senior management team, Eye Level Studios & Gallery and Phoenix Brighton. I was instrumental in setting up this artist-led organisation, and I established and ran the exhibitions and education programmes.
Archive of curating and other projects
Assistant Professor of Art, New England College, West Sussex, UK, 1989-92
University of Sussex, Post Graduate Diploma in Arts Management, 1998
The University of Iowa, MA, MFA in Painting and Drawing, 1988/89
University of California at Santa Cruz, BA Fine Art, 1986
University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1980-81