Hawaii Forgiveness Project

Images of Forgiveness Awards
Winning Entries, 2012

presented at
International Forgiveness Day in Hawai'i
August 5, 2012
State Capitol, Honolulu

Gold Medal:

oil painting

Zhenguo "Tom" Tong

Within the Hawaiian lexicon, the word "Aloha" is imbibed with many meanings. It might mean hello, good-bye, love, caring, affection, compassion or even "to know the unknowable".

As many Hawaiian words and phrases carry deeper hidden means, or "kauna", so it is true with "Aloha". It might be said that "Aloha" is really more of a feeling than something you can pin down with a specific definition.

Go as deep as you can into its meaning, almost like a meditation, and you realize you have only just begun your journey of understanding. Under layers of true oneness and caring, deep within Aloha is also the quality of forgiveness. As with the practice of Ho'oponopono (the healing practice of "setting things right"), true healing begins with forgiveness, and culminates in restoring Aloha. Forgiveness is an essential part of Aloha, it paves the way by letting go of any past wrong-doing. Aloha in its literal sense means “the presence of breath” or "breath on the face", describing that deep sense of caring and trust that comes when two people are so close together that their breath can be felt on each other's face.

That is the physical expression of Aloha. When there is true caring and understanding such that you can invite someone into your embrace, then there is only love. All blame, hatred, isolation, hurt, et cetera has been forgiven, and what is left is pure acceptance, oneness, love... Aloha.

Silver Medal:

"From the Inside Out"
mixed-media installation; life-size sculpture.

Esther Anne Wilhelm

Faith would have me find art as my ultimate outlet.

I was asked by instructor Rebecca Horne from HCC to create art from the edge. Confused at the assignment I humbly asked what is the edge she quickly replied it is whatever it is to me.

The edge for me was being born a product of rape and abuse. Although live with PTDS from past abuse I am not a victim nor am I held captive by anger. I use my story instead to help other's find hope by exposing myself from the inside out. My work has been featured at a number of galleries has won awards and will be featured in New York city this October. My work will also be featured in an upcoming reality TV show shooting on the Big Island called Focus Within.

My work is also being used for art therapy workshops which have been held at our local colleges. My work has been featured at Girlfest Hawaii helping create rape free zones on our college campus, Honolulu Academy of art, Gallery on The Pali, Catholic Charities, Women Helping Women on Maui, Candlelight Vigil 2011, and much more!

In Love And Light Esther

Bronze Medal:

"tears & air"
greeting card drawing

Erica Rainhart

Sometimes tears & air is all there is in a moment.

Special Recognition:

"Love is Universal"
wood sculpture, wall hanging
Hand-carved layers of Baltic Birch wood; Calligraphic Chinese kanji symbol for "Love"
Mounted on red silk background, dark wood frame.

Ron Kent

"Love is never having to say you're sorry"...immensely popular quote from 1970 film "Love Story".

To me these words convey the sense that Forgiveness is an inseparable characteristic of Love.


© copyright 2012, Hawai'i Forgiveness Project
and by each individual artist