POW WOW MEETS FLOW: #PowWowHawaii Recap 2015

Written by: Vina Cristobal, founding editor-in-chief

Photos by: Brittany Reis + Rayce Sugitan with assistance from Mark Galacgac

Last year, I journeyed solo to see the full process for Pow Wow 2014. Kaka’ako’s empty white walls were splashed with color as artists from Hawaii and from around the world gathered for an exciting week in Honolulu’s artistic center. The smell of paint cans, spray cans, and cigarette smoke engulfed several blocks of Kaka’ako – even extending itself to the corners of Kalihi and Ward Warehouse (which seemed to be a first for the annual mural festival).

This year, I returned and brought my crew with me to witness the beautiful process of the mural creations. In each mural that I visited, the artist/artists were heavily concentrated on their work; sometimes, they would take smoke breaks or visit friends in between. If they were really into their work, they’d keep going into the wee hours of the night to finish. Every day, I saw the progress of each mural. The simple sketches on the first few days blossomed into arrays of beautiful artwork.

The finale was no disappointment. As per usual, Night Market was crowded. But Pow Wow artists came to decorate the unused empty walls hidden within Lana Lane Studios’ alleyway in a last-minute event to beautify Kaka’ako. Meanwhile, the Pow Wow School of Music students fired up the stage with their young talent alongside local musicians such as Eli Mac and Kimie. School of Art students showcased their work at the Agora, under the theme of “Youth.”

This year’s Pow Wow murals are undeniably insane. Some of my personal favorites: Reach (a hidden urban gem in the library, using his trademark wings with artist Debe’s Minecraft-looking cubes), Vincent Di Nguyen (incorporating a Disney-esque art form into his mural), Fafi (adding flowers to her pin-up girls, The Fafinettes), among many others.

2015’s murals held the most memorable ones. Hopefully we’ll see some new favorites next year.

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