Many Rivers, One Ocean: Interactive Experience
Every year since 1999, thousands have gathered on the shores of Oʻahu to dedicated lanterns for their loved ones. As part of the Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi 2021 experience, an interactive space of art, light, and music was created.
At the center of the art installation was a walk-through lantern, the inspiration of lighting artist Hideaki Tsutsui, with a cut-out silhouette of Hawaiʻi’s State tree, the kukui, a symbol of light, hope, and renewal. Participants were invited to write messages of remembrance, prayers, and commitments to positive action and place them inside the lantern. Large floral murals by Kumu Boz Schurr and additional art panels designed by her Kamehameha Schools students graced the grounds of the installation, expressions of their reverence for all who have laid the foundation for our present lives and a renewed hope toward the future in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. The musical backdrop was composed by Masahiro Nakawaki to humbly amplify the messages dedicated by participants, and to express his wish to join with all in a commitment to create a better future.
Founder of Shinnyo-en Master Shinjo Ito believed Hawaiʻi to be a special place. Upon first visiting Hawaiʻi in 1970, he shared his hope to one day hold a lantern floating ceremony in Hawaiʻi. Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai’i is an opportunity for people to awaken to and bring out their “shinnyo,” the inherent potential in every living being to make life meaningful for themselves and others. Shinnyo has often been expressed as each person’s inner light, as well as the timeless energy that runs throughout everything and everyone, leading us to moments of inspiration and awakening.
Her Holiness Shinso Ito teaches that “Each of us is a shinnyo light. If one person can make a difference, imagine what would happen when we all come together.” The art installation was a work of art “in-progress” that became more complete with each participant’s presence and dedication.
View the 360 degree immersive experience of the art installation here.
*For the full immersive experience on mobile, be sure to click on OPEN APP to view the video on YouTube.
Art and light can bring hope, a sense of renewal, and connection. This interactive experience is the result of the creative efforts of lighting artist Hideaki Tsutsui, visual artist Boz Schurr, art students of Kamehameha Schools, and those who have come to honor their loved ones. As our Hawaiʻi community comes together again in remembrance, we hope you will join us virtually and be inspired to connect with past and present, then put energy toward positive actions that will bring hope and a peaceful future for all.
The Making of the Many Rivers, One Ocean – Interactive Experience
Learn about the spirit and heart of the artists who brought Many Rivers, One Ocean – Interactive Experience to life with this Extended Video: Lighting Designer Hideaki Tsutsui, Kumu Boz Schurr, students at Kamehameha Schools
Videos on this page by Jay Hanamura of Giant Theory (gianttheory.com)
Messages by Our Artists
If Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi can offer an opportunity for us to reflect and look at one another, to share our stories, to care for each other and to create hope—this was my inspiration and goal for the design. The tree symbolizes the four elements of life: water, earth, air and fire. I chose the Kukui tree to honor the ancestors and land where this art piece stands.
Lighting and Project Designer
The grief, remembrance and healing we experience with the loss of loved ones can be a difficult path to walk on, especially in the last year when we have been less able to join together as a community to share in our collective empathy. Although we have been separated and physically distanced, we are not alone. This current time and place hopefully offers participants a chance to reflect on the past, find peace in the present moment, and to grow with a commitment to positive action and compassion as we move into the future together.
Kumu Boz Schurr
Artist and Teacher at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama
We centered our art around feelings of hope and reverence for lost loved ones rather than on the grief and sadness of loss. With imagery inspired by Native Hawaiian flora and a color palette referencing the light of the lanterns, we hope to portray how growth, whether individual, among family, or within a community, can stem from the loss of those we hold dear. Thus, by honoring their memory, we can continue to bring positivity and light into our lives.
Students at Kamehameha Schools Art Club & Mural Club
The origins of music can be traced to humanity’s earliest experiences of prayer, reflection, and awe. In these times of turmoil, with global pandemics, international strife, and environmental issues, we still have countless challenges ahead of us before we can say that we are leaving a better world for our children and generations to come. Many people every year have taken part in Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi as a place where they can express their thoughts to those who have passed and come together to share in their hopes for a more peaceful world. I feel truly blessed to have been able to join in the positive energy generated from everyone’s prayers by composing and producing the music for our ceremony at Ala Moana Beach for over a dozen years. This year, my wish was to create music that would help to amplify the messages participants have dedicated for this event. May we all meet again for next year’s Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi in a shared spirit of thanks to all who came before us and reaffirm our promise to together create a hopeful world for all.
Music Composer, Director, and Producer