Kanani Miyamoto


GRANTEE: Kanani Miyamoto
LOCATION: Portland, Oregon
AWARD: 2023 LIFT– Early Career Support for Native Artists 

Originally from Honolulu, Hawai`i, Kanani Miyamoto is currently living in Portland, Oregon where she practices art, teaches, and curates. She is an individual of mixed heritage and identifies most with her Hawaiian and Japanese roots, which is celebrated in her artwork. Miyamoto holds a Master of Fine Arts in Print Media from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art Practices from Portland State University. Kanani is now the Arts Coordinator at p:ear.

Important to Miyamoto’s work as an artist is sharing and honoring her mixed cultural background to represent her community and the beauty of intersectional identities. She also explores topics such as institutional critique and hopes to create critical conversations around cultural authenticity in the arts. Miyamoto is a printmaker and uses traditional printmaking techniques to create large scale print installations and murals. In addition to being a practicing artist, she is an advocate for art education and a passionate community worker.

I’d like to tell the story of survivance and resilience through reclaiming this tradition. I want to recognize our ancestors and feel their hands through my hands.”

– Kanani Miyamoto (Hawaiian)


Miyamoto’s LIFT Project, Weaving Angels, will be an immersive installation combining relief and screen prints with carved wood blocks, and locally harvested lauhala (leaf) woven into the prints. The prints will feature hula hand gestures of Kānaka Maoli living away from Hawai`i, as a symbol of community, cultural survival, and resistance against assimilation. Furthermore, the Project will reclaim the traditional practice of Hawaiian weaving, ulana, and bring it into Miyamoto’s contemporary art practice. She will share the work through artist talks, panel discussions, and weaving workshops, and will exhibit it in the Pacific Northwest and Hawai’i.