"The first Pow Wow was in Hong Kong, just five artists getting together in Jasper's gallery, Above Second," shares Kamea Hadar, co-director of Pow Wow Hawaii. In 2011, 12 artists—five local and seven international—joined the fray. The following year, that number ballooned to 50. In 2013, there were 100.
Pow Wow's growth isn't just in shear number; the youth programing has extended beyond art to music, and Jasper Wong's simple idea of giving his community opportunity to interact with contemporary art has become one of the most important gathering of graffiti writers and mixed-media artists around.
The community spirit fostered by Wong is shared, and propelled, by all participants. Askew, from New Zealand, honored Tame Iti, the legendary Māori activist, giving voice to the cross-cultural pollination of the Pacific. Eric Marcinizyn, from Delaware, found inspiration in local Hawaiian traditions, leaving behind a message of "Mahalo." Both are indicative of personal styles finding new forms at Pow Wow Hawaii.
The murals in this gallery are just a sampling of the finished products and feature the work of 123 Klan, Askew, Dabs & Myla, DALeast, Faith47, Madsteez, Roid, Meggs, Phibs, and more.
Photos by Brandon Shigeta