POW WOW Hawaii was originally conceived and launched in part by Jasper Wong approximately one year ago in Hong Kong, the event made its second stop in Wong’s native Hawai’i. The event’s basis is to highlight the actual process behind creating art rather than only focusing on the final product. Having said that, over the last few days, the event which took place at Loft in Space was created with an open studio concept in mind. People were allowed to come off the street and watch artists work in a natural and organic environment.
The weeks of setup for the POW WOW ’11 in Honolulu culminated in blowout showcase bringing together talent from different parts of the world. People all over Hawaii came to take part in the celebration where performance, photography, graffiti, and fine art intersected. Artists such as Will Barras, Meggs, Ekundayo, Prime, Jeff Hamada, 123Klan, Aaron de la Cruz, Kamea Hadar, Suitman and Jasper Wong created unique indoor and outdoor site specific art for display at the giant Loft in Space venue behind Fresh Cafe.
Along with online peers Acclaim, Booooooom, and Hypebeast, we got to experience first hand the blending of local and international art culture. The robust show culminated in the central collaborative canvas being blacked out in unison by the contributing artists and a final piece to be composed above it, which was very symbolic for the coming together of art communities in this tropical island paradise.
The day started with most of the guys heading down to Waimea Bay for a quick swim where waves can get to stupidly ridiculous sizes. Many works were finalized and others came close to completion not to mention new works took shape courtesy of Jasper Wong with help from 123Klan and Will Barras. The outside wall took shape with a cornucopia of amazing pieces from Ekundayo, Meggs, 123Klan, and Prime.
The momentous week of creation that was POW WOW would not have been as successful if it weren’t for it’s headquarters – Camp North. Stepping away from the metro surroundings of Honolulu, the crew stayed at the opposite side of the island located on North Shore. Known for world class surf and gorgeous views, the artists retreated to the “country” each day after their adventures in “town”.
To cap off the fantastic week, a special Lu’au was held where we got to experience the art of cooking and party in the traditional Hawaiian way. The day before the feast an Imu was created where a giant pit was dug out and lined with heated rocks and coals. Once the fire was blazing, a tuna stuffed turkey, chicken wrapped in ti leaves, and of course, a ginormous pig was lowered into the pit. Afterwards, everyone was invited to help layer in fresh ti & banana leaves and wet coffee bags (from the island of Kona of course) before the pit was sealed again in soil for 16 hours. The next day, the pit was dug up and the food was hand prepped for the party. It’s impossible to describe in words how diverse and tasty the feast was, but one word comes to mind – Delicious! This local method of cooking was an art in itself. Before the food coma hit, we were entertained with a local magic show, a live rizzling demo and an authentic hula dancing showcase.
Part one of the Hypebeast TV series on POW WOW Hawai’i 2011 brings you in an depth look at a number of sights and sounds, as an international group of artists each went about creating their artwork amidst an open environment.
In part two of the series on POW WOW Hawai'i and its 2011 exhibition recap, we showcase the final climax of the event which took place on February 19 at Loft In Space. Along the way, we also gain an introspective look into the work of some of the artists involved including Will Barras, Yue Wu, Suitman.
In our third and final part of POW WOW Hawai’i 2011, we follow Jasper Wong and the roster of artists through a more leisurely stroll involving Hawai’i's beautiful wilderness, including a hike up Koko Head Summit which served as a look-out for kamikaze planes during World War II. Interlaced between the scenes are commentary from participating artists such as Yu Wue, Prime and Ekundayo. The end of POW WOW Hawai’i 2011 included a traditional luau with a performance by rizzling (spinning rolling papers on your finger) grandmaster Larry “Pacquiao” Chen, put onto the “sport” by none other then Suitman.
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