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Street Art in Honolulu as Pow! Wow! Hawaii Enters Fifth Year

Posted: 12/04/2013 9:04 am



Before the year wraps we wanted to take a look at images from Pow! Wow! Hawaii as it enters its fifth year with a collection of images recently captured in Honolulu where it happens.

Begun by founder Jasper Wong in Hong Kong, Pow! Wow! Hawaii is a non-profit gathering in his hometown that he co-produces with another artist named Kamea Hadar. In a promo video for the festival Wong says that the festival is about "beautifying a neighborhood, changing a neighborhood through art".

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Rone and Wonder spell it out in their largest collaboration to date. (photo © Yoav Litvin)


A criticism of street art festivals often leveled has been that the stars of the international circuit overpower the local tastes or are somehow insensitive to them, and the hip doesn't always respect the homegrown.

Pow! Wow! Hawaii steadily avoids that criticism by including local community throughout open participatory events and it makes sure to include artists who work with traditional motifs and values in their pieces, bringing indigenous cultures into the mix in a meaningful way.

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Woes, Meggs, Peap, Tarr, Mr. Jago and Will Barras (photo © Yoav Litvin)


Since the rich pop colors of the modern age are also the visual lengua materna for these street artists and graffiti artists, it is common to see figures and patterns from the past updated with punch. The waterside commercial neighborhood along the southern shores of the island of Oʻahu is called Kaka'ako and the name itself has inspired some of the artists to include it in their pieces.

Recently photographer Yoav Litvin took a trip to the neighborhood where Pow! Wow! takes place and we bring you some of the images from Honolulu to get a taste of the work that has been left there by an estimated 100 artists since 2010.

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Faith 47 (photo © Yoav Litvin)


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Askew pays tribute to the Tuhoe Iwi and references the time of the Treaty of Waitangi (photo © Yoav Litvin)


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Nychos and Jeff Soto (photo © Yoav Litvin)


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Scribe (photo © Yoav Litvin)


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Roids and Madsteez punch up the color when paying tribute to King Kalakua. (photo © Yoav Litvin)


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Dal East (photo © Yoav Litvin)


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Ekundayo (photo © Yoav Litvin)


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Kamea Hadar and Rone (photo © Yoav Litvin)


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Eddie Colla (photo © Yoav Litvin)


From the website:
"Centered around a week-long event in Hawaii, POW! WOW! has grown into a global network of artists and organizes gallery shows, lecture series, schools for art and music, mural projects, a large creative space named Lana Lane Studios, concerts, and live art installations across the globe. The central event takes place during Valentine's Day week in February in the Kaka'ako district of Honolulu, and brings over a hundred international and local artist together to create murals and other forms of art."

For more about Pow! Wow! Hawaii click HERE.


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