By transforming green trees, blue skies, and colorful flowers into pulsing kaleidoscopic panoramas, filmmaker M. Dane Zahorsky's nature footage series, Poiesis, explores the intricately patterned beauty of the wild. Working in collaboration with Lantern Journal and composer Lubomyr Melnyk, Zahorsky had previously found his inspiration among the flora surrounding Mt. Hood, Oregon. His latest effort, Song of Nishida, goes tropical by warping and reflecting the Hawaiian islands.
Zahorsky's visual exploration of Hawaii's natural beauty traces, "the ideas of Kitaro Nishida, and the Kyoto School of Philosophy, as they intersect with our own Western notions of identity and emplacement," according to the project description. "Each shot is presented from a fixed vantage point of fixed time. Cumulatively they become a synthesis of experience and interactivity." The sequences of symmetrical colors and shapes are interspersed with messages conveying such spiritual ideals as, "YOU ARE AN ENTRANCE," and "FEEL ITS RHYTHMIC, CHIASMIC SHIMMERING." These spurts of 4th wall-shattering text contextualize both the striking images of seas and skyscapes, and the stylistic presentation Zahorsky packages them in.
While it's not quite the same as an actual hike through any one of Hawaii's eight islands, Song of Nishida is a refreshing reminder that beauty's all around us—with and without digital manipulation.
Gaze into a few of our favorite reflections of the Hawaiian islands below, and get caught up with Zahorsky's two earlier Poiesis pieces:
Check out Zahorsky's Vimeo page for more of his cinematic celebrations of nature.