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By Hadley Nunes

There is always something interesting taking shape at Lana Lane throughout the week, so I wasn’t surprised to discover a giant projection of the icon Duke Kahanamoku on one of the warehouse walls during his 125th birthday week. Jeff Gress, Kamea Hadar, Gavin Murai, and Matt Ortiz were preparing a large painting surface for a flash mural of the legend for the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s annual conference for global facilitators in the tourism industry. I had the opportunity to chat with Hadar about the mural and the history behind the concept.

Looking back to when POW! WOW! Hawaii first started, given the scale of it to-date, it’s easy to imagine how full the potential for its growth must have felt. In order to grow towards it’s own opportunities, the organizers held their first annual fundraising event and a clever idea for performance art with immediate impact was assembled called Blank Canvas.

The Kahanamoku mural is the third performance of it’s type by POW! WOW! and is meant to deliver an impactful experience of making art without the hours of preparations and planning that goes into the murals made during the festival every year. The performance, Hadar explains, came from an objective to achieve in painting, the immediate impact movies and music achieve in the moment. It’s a way of translating, in a super, hyper-condensed form, the passion and intensity of a sustained practice—and it’s totally fun and
miraculous to watch.

Lana Lane Music Studio (Kaleikini Productions, Gotaro Oshitari) helped with the soundtrack for the live performance and Lana Lane photographer Mason Rose documented and arranged the time-lapse during the rehearsal before the event.

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