Monday, July 25, 2011

Huge graff collab hits Honolulu Community College...

A few weeks ago,

A conglomerate of Hawai'i's finest got together to do a huge I mean huge mural near the gravel parking lot of Honolulu Community College.  I wasn't able to attend the official reveal of the mural a few weeks back, but today I was in the area doing some errands and snapped these photos.

In this shot, you can see the cars on the sides of the building, which gives you a perspective of how huge this unreal painting is (click on the photo to see a larger image)... 

From what I hear, Estria and Prime, two very well-known graff artists from the 808 did their homework in putting this wall together, and brought in a group of advisors to formulate the vision of this mural.  Overall, the mural bridges the past, the present and the future.  In true Prime fashion, I appreciate how he always infuses the Hawaiian cultural aspect in his work.  There are three 'olelo no'eau or Hawaiian proverbs incorporated into the mural.  The first 'olelo no'eau is on the far left side of the mural, "'A'ohe hana nui ke alu 'ia." which means, "No task is too big when done together by all." So true, as I mentioned earlier, the project was a huge collab with the following artists: Estria, Prime, Katch, Rival, Vogue, Trax, Ckaweeks, Dmize, Krush TWS, Krush BE, Eukarezt, Bieste, Quest, Escape, Ohana, Wyte, Sierra, SMK and Look.

As I looked a the mural, from my interpretation it looked like the part of the piece was looking at addressing Hawai'i's sustainable future, and looking at Hawai'i's ahupua'a (land division) concept and balancing that with environmental sensitivity.  The left side of the mural depicts clean burning air vehicles, energy generated by windmills and "green" earth friendly homes.

Pictured above is the word "Flow" which is pretty apparent in this mural...

This is my favorite part of the mural, which is a portrait of Queen Lili'uokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawai'i.  I REALLY like how there was some research done on the queen, and I'm sure Prime had a lot to do with it.  From the naked eye, one wouldn't know that purple was Queen Lili'uokalani's favorite color, or that the crown flower pictured above was one of her favorite flowers.  The comb in the Queen's hair, I suspect is of the Hawaiian monarch butterfly, which primarily feeds off of mamaki leaves.  I'm sure here was a play too on the word "monarch."  Friggen unreal.  You'll also see that her royal sash is made up of the water flowing from the mountains, which to me symbolizes the past to the present and future.  And what is that she's holding in her hand?  A palapala (document) symbolizing education as the key for our people?  A piece of the newspaper that she'd read while being imprisoned at 'Iolani Palace?  A signed document of those who protested the wrongdoings on Hawai'i?  That remains a mystery...

In this portion of the mural, you'll see water flowing from "Ma Uka to Ma Kai" (from mountain to the ocean) as also said in the graff lettering.  Looking closer, you'll notice energy being captured from the rivers, kalo (taro) a Hawaiian staple being grown and also corn being grown, which I suspect is another representation of reusable natural energy.  The 2nd 'olelo no'eau is in this portion of the mural "Mohala i ka wai i ka maka o ka pua." which means, "Unfolded by the waters are the faces of the flowers."  And the meaning of that is "Flowers thrive where there is water, as thriving people are found where living conditions are good."  Unreal huh.  I just really love the mana'o (meaning) put into this mural.

This is the far right side of the mural with some ocean life, pretty sick work.  

And then finally, in the final pic above, it lists all of the people involved in the project, along with the 3rd and final 'olelo no'eau, "Ola ka wai, ola ka honua." which means, "When the water lives, so does the earth."  I think that speaks for itself.

UPDATE: Estria let me know that the 3rd 'olelo no'eau "Ola ka wai, ola ka honua" is actually the name of the mural.

So I just wanted to send my aloha to all that help put this awesome mural together...unreal.


  1. Mahalo nui loa for posting this. You did an awesome job!

    In Hawaiian, wai=water, wai wai=riches, pu'uwai=heart (literally means hill of water). The Queen is still pouring her heart out to help us.

  2. The third olelo is the name of the mural. Thanks again!