Hawaiʻi Loa Kū Like Kākou mural

8 10 2011

Native Hawaiian fine artists Harinani Orme, Meleanna Meyer, and Kahi Ching work on the "Hawaiʻi Loa Kū Like Kākou" mural at the Hawaii Convention Center.

A mural painting in progress at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu is something for the whole community to see and appreciate. Hurry on down.

I watched the artists at work yesterday, intrigued with the program, the content, and the painting technique.

The mural is being created in response to the upcoming APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit conference here Nov. 7-10. The title “Hawaiʻi Loa Kū Like Kākou” means “All Hawaiʻi Stands Together.”

At this time five Native Hawaiian artists and kumu (teachers) — Kahi Ching, Solomon Enos, Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, and Harinani Orme — and four alaka‘i (apprentice leaders) are working collectively on it following the ideas and insight from 22 haumana (students) of public, private, charter, and Hawaiian immersion schools and others. Many hands and hearts are touching this work. The mural consists of many layers of inspiration, thought, and paint.

Shad Kaluhiwa, who has a disability, holds his paintbrush with this teeth.

As the artists added the warm colors yesterday, and as I sat and continued to look at the painting, I kept seeing different things. The form of an ʻauamo (pole used to carry and balance burdens across the shoulders) was being visually turned. I noticed it curved, like the curvature of Earth, for then I saw the profile of continents and islands.

From there, Earth images, sky images, plant images, people images, spheres, fish, line and dot. Intertwined and intriguing. Beguiling in a charming way.

I mused, “I see.”

WHEN YOU GO: The mural painting is on the ground level underneath the escalators and next to the waterfall, through Oct. 11. It will be installed (I don’t know the exact location) Oct. 17-19, according to a printed fact sheet. Parking at the convention center costs $5 flat rate.

Copyright 2011 Rebekah Luke

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