Mana Nalu

Mana Nalu Mural Project

At last here are some images of my mural entitled Mana Nalu (power of the wave) that was recently completed in Honolulu. I had the help of 14 other artists, many of which were local Hawaiians, and others were from California and across the country.

The dedication / blessing was a heartfelt event, with two Kapunas (Hawaiian ministers), children blowing Conch shells, and traditional singing groups. It was a great cultural experience, as the mural was received openly by the Hawaiian community. It was the most consuming project that I’ve ever done, but in the end I felt like I really belonged there.

One incident that happened after the mural was near completion – A fire truck with crew stopped in the middle of traffic and jumped out to rescue the children in the mural. They got about 15 feet away and then doubled over laughing that they were fooled into an emergency response mode. I don’t think that there were any liability issues for a false report 🙂

Peace and Aloha,

John

 

Mural Description

Larger than life, the epic wave behind surfer pioneer Duke Kahanamoku is Queen Lili’uokalani herself. Bold and defiant, she endures the tide of western conquests. This glass wave monument honors her spirit that still pounds in the hearts of her people, and unfurls the forged legacy she left behind.

On the balcony below are children who have come to offer gifts and to share aloha. Spiritual and virtuous, Queen Lili’uokalani made sure all future children of Hawaii would have an Ohana (a loving family). Also included in a window by her side is another great Hawaiian – Prince Kuhio – who encouraged, counseled, and supported her.

With curved blocks of aqua jeweled glass, the effect of light coming through from a skylight above is similar to the effect in a real wave. This allows the viewer to bask in ‘the zone’ of a surfer’s world. The balcony visually integrates with the building and is ornamented with lush elegant urns, and a grand staircase that issues forth like sea foam.

This mural was made possible through an international competition and by the vision of building owner Richard Wasnich M.D. His vision will continue on with a park that integrates with the mural, intending to create a meditative sacred space. Also, mahalo to Kauila Clark for his council and the guided journey through the rich culture and spirit of Hawaii.