Kiʻi Ā Loaʻa:  Illuminating and Interrogating Hawaiʻi’s Monuments

An augmented reality experience 

Supported by

I ka wā ma mua, ka wā ma hope
“the future is in the past”

Hawaiian Proverb

Created by Moses Goods, Inamona Theatre Company and the HTY Ensemble

The Project

Kiʻi Ā Loaʻa is the Hawaiian led creation of public, augmented reality experiences placed around statues of significance, examining, and illuminating existing narratives attached to these contemporary historical markers.  The project is led by Kanaka Maoli Storyteller, Moses Goods and will be produced by Honolulu Theatre for Youth in collaboration with Capitol Modern:  Hawaii State Art Museum with funding from Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and Hawaii Tourism Authority.

How Does it Work?

This project takes place in three different locations.  Audience members will use a personal cell phone or mobile device to access the experience at either the Queen Liliʻuokalani Statue or the King Kamehameha I Statue in downtown Honolulu.  A QR code close to the statue will activate an app, leading to a 15-20 minute  augmented reality experience exploring each statue.  The third location is in the Sculpture Garden at Capitol Modern: The Hawaii State Art Museum where a choose-your-own-adventure experience can be accessed using iPads provided by the museum.

Instructions for the Kiʻi Ā Loaʻa Experience:

  • Scan the QR code to download the Ki‘i Ā Loa‘a App on your Android or iOS device.
  • Download a PDF of our flyer which includes walking directions to each statue. The statues are a 5-10 minute walk from Capitol Modern.
  • Each experience takes approximately 15 minutes.
  • Bring your earphones to maximize the experience.
  • You may also want to bring your water bottle.

During the Week of June 10-15, tours of the Kiʻi Ā Loaʻa experience will start from Capitol Modern: The Hawaiʻi State Art Museum between the hours of 11am- 3pm.  Independent exploration of the experience is open to all, 24/7, by following the instructions provided on this page. 

Queen Liliʻuokalani Statue

What is your relationship to the Queen?  

This 20-minute experience introduces audience members to 4 different individuals, a visitor to the islands, a hula dancer, a protester and a politician all with a distinctly different relationship to Queen Liliʻuokalani and the statue itself.  The piece ultimately asks each audience member to consider their own relationship to the Queen and her legacy.

Flowers fall from the sky, sugar cane grows before your eyes, images of the Queen dance around the viewer and the stories of the four virtual characters unfold in any order at  this first stop on our augmented reality journey.

King Kamehameha I Statue

How Does the Making of a Kiʻi (image) relate to Hawaiian culture?

As an audience member journeys around the famous King Kamehameha I statue, they also journey through time–meeting a traditional carver, the painter of the first portrait of the King, and an actor asked to portray Hawaiʻi’s first monarch in a film.  This 15 minute experience asks us to consider the Hawaiian relationship to image through an historical and contemporary lens.

ʻImi Ā Loaʻa at Capitol Modern

Join us in the Sculpture Garden at Capitol Modern for our ʻImi Ā Loaʻa augmented reality experience. This interactive journey invites audiences to explore Native Hawaiian concepts of art, eventually building their own digital sculpture to leave in the garden.

During the week of June 10-15th, in honor of the 13th Festival of the Pacific, tours of the experience in the museum’s Sculpture Garden will be available  from 11am-3pm. Space is limited to 10 participants at a time.


We have been so fortunate to work with a variety of partners and funders on the creation of content for this project.  From volunteer developers to government agencies to student testers we are excited that this work has expanded our community.


Funders Include:

Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. Additional funding for the original project was provided by The National Endowment for the Arts, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Kamehameha Schools and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority through the Kūkulu Ola Program, administered by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation.

Program Credits

Theatrical Team

We have been blessed with an amazing theatrical team who have been guiding the development of the piece.

Core Devising Team:  Moses Goods, Lokomaika’i Lipscomb, Ryan I. Kahaʻiʻōlelo Sueoka, Kala Muller, Alysia Kepaʻa

Performers: Danica Rosengren, Lokomaika’i Lipscomb, Kalā Muller, Alysia Kepaʻa, Maile Holck, Iasona Kaper, Moses Goods, Kealoha Kelekolio


Lead Designer
Solomon Enos

Lead Animator
Chesley Cannon

Composer/Sound Designer
T.J. Keanu Tario
Mattea Mazzella

Unity Designers/Programmers
Daniel Schatzeder
Andrew Towl
Kari Noe

Other Designers/Programmers
Shawn Taras
Richard Kanno

A Special Mahalo to Rick Makanaaloha Kiaʻimeaokekanaka San Nicolas for the loan of the beautiful feather cape and helmet.

Additional design, filming, animation and a mountain of work came from inside and outside HTY and we are deeply grateful for each of these contributions.


This project would not have been possible without the contributions of many, many collaborators who gave generous advice, guidance and leadership.  A few to note are…

Capitol Modern for opening their  beautiful venue and leaping onboard as a partner.

The massive group of collaborators who met in preparation for this project, especially those who participated in the first and second “hackathons” which paved the way for our development of Imi A Loaa.

The many cultural advisors who gave guidance and learning both directly to this project and before.

The partners (please see above) who gave so generously to allow us to take the risk, learn and experiment.  Mahalo!

Support this Work

This work requires new technology, computer programmers and most especially time to explore and discover what is possible when we combine traditional culture and new technologies.  If you would like to support this work please contact HTY’s Managing Director, Becky Dunning at

Historical Resources

Through Ki’i Ā Loa’a, we attempt to give visitors a glimpse into the history of these monuments, but of course, there’s much more to their stories. Here are some great resources for learning more about Hawaiian history:

Behind the Scenes

Curious about how we built Ki’i Ā Loa’a? Hear from some of our team members about the development process! More videos are coming soon, but for now, please check out some content from ‘Imi Ā Loa’a, a similar previous project.

HTY’s First Augmented Reality Project

HTY’s First Augmented Reality Project (Longer Video w/ Interviews)

While you’re in the Neighborhood

Downtown Honolulu is full of institutions that commemorate and uphold the history of our island. While you’re nearby, we encourage you to pay them a visit and learn more about Hawaiian culture and community! We’ve listed a few below to get you started. 

Capitol Modern 

Discover a variety of work from local artists at the Hawaii State Art Museum.  Admission is free! 

King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center

Learn more about Hawaii’s legal system and judicial processes through the exhibits and galleries at this museum located right behind the King Kamehameha statue! Admission is free, and visitors can opt for group or self-guided tours. 

Iolani Palace

This historic, beautiful residence was built in 1882 and housed Hawaii’s royalty. After the end of the monarchy, it was used as the state’s capitol until 1969. Guided and audio tours are available throughout the week.