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2023 USC Media Arts + Practice Undergraduate Senior Thesis Project


A research-based multimedia installation that explores issues around colonialism, militarism and environmentalism through the lens of tourism in Hawai’i. This immersive experience mirrors the interior of an airplane, and utilizes augmented reality (AR), web and audio design tools to communicate the historical and contemporary realities of Hawai’i.

my story

Upon transferring to USC from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, one of the many "culture shocks" I have faced is the mainland perception of Hawaiʻi. As an island with a complex colonial history, strong military presence, and high cost of living, the Hawaiʻi I knew was vastly different from what has been marketed to the mainland.

For the typical tourist and many others, Hawaiʻi is often referred to as “paradise" -- beautiful beaches, luxury pools, and water activities like sunset sailing and scuba diving. However, for many residents and Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians), life in Hawaiʻi is far from relaxation. Seeing this disparity in the perception of Hawaiʻi, I was compelled to story-tell the realities of Hawaiʻi to deconstruct this image of "paradise."

Form & Design

Embedded in the set design of an airplane, there are four interactive touch points within the installation.


Embedded in the front seat pocket, the brochure provides a summary and list of resources the audience can take home.

Featured businesses such as Lokoea and Anelakai Adventures, are organizations that I personally interviewed and "talked story" with as community outreach was an integral part of my research.


As "Ho'olohe" means to "listen with heart" in Hawaiian, "Ho'olohe Radio" was created in hopes of inspiring the audience to listen to the realities of Hawai'i through a short podcast. 


The full podcast can be accessed via, Episode 4 of "What's MAPS: A MA+P Podcast"


The audience is able to engage with the interactive “in-flight entertainment screen” to access features such as  "Ho'olohe Radio" and the Augmented Reality experience. Coded and designed from scratch, this program reimagines the boundaries of in-flight entertainment as an educational tool.


Playing with the idea of this "deceptive paradise." The airplane window displays Hawaiʻi as a “paradise” with its stereotypical tourist-appealing features. However, through Augmented Reality (AR) Instagram filter, a counterpart perspective for each element— the hotel, greenery, and beaches— is revealed.

This filter can be accessed via @prod.ka Instagram.


Research & Positionality

Formulating the research and prospectus for this project has been in the works since Spring 2022. As an Asian immigrant, born & raised in Hawai'i, I recognize my privilege as an Asian Settler Colonist. Thus, I have created this project with mindfulness about positionality and will continue my kuleana (cultural responsibility) in protecting and advocating for the future of Hawai‘i and the Kānaka Maoli community. To ensure that my project does not overshadow Kānaka Maoli voices, I have conducted interviews and community outreach as a crucial practice in amplifying these voices. 

Through this process, I had the amazing opportunity to speak to amazing scholars and community members:


Through this creative process, I focused on collaborating with Hawaiʻi-grown artists and young creatives. As a way to highlight the island's talent and support young local artists, the core collaboration team is made of Hawaiʻi grown or Kānaka Maoli individuals. Additionally, I also had the help of young creatives from the USC/LA area.

Process & Prototypes

Initial ideation for "A Home: Not Paradise" started in April 2022.

Follow through my journey from ideation, research, design, and prototyping.

A Home: Not Paradise premiered on May 2, 2023, at

REALITY CHECK: USC Media Arts + Practice Undergrad Senior Thesis Exhibition.

Pictured: a screenshot of my ongoing Figma Jam Board!

Where I brainstorm, braindump and collect inspiration/details for my project

Read the Research

A Home: Not Paradise

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