HomeFeautresBlogContrast TVShopAbout

The 5 W’s with “Hiiakaikanoeau” Photographer Paul Kema

April 28th, 2014

Paul Kema
URL: PaieaProjects.com/blog

Contrast: Who were you taking portraits of and how are you connected to them?

Paul Kema: These are portraits of Halau O Kekuhi who come from Hilo, Hawaii and I guess you could say I became the halau photographer by default since I was always hanging around with KZ.

What is the main message of this photography project communicating?

“Cherishing the Reflections” as Sig puts it. These photos offer the viewer an insight into both the physical and mental preparation that took place before the performance, something that is rarely seen. Each dancer is dressed in costume, eager to take stage, confident in their skill and readiness to perform, and at that point I simply tried to capture that confidence and anticipation.

Why do you think it’s important to document indigenous cultural practices like this?

This is our present day culture at its finest! Master Kapa makers like aunty Maire McDonald and aunty Nalani Kanakaoleʻs halau with seven generations of hula collaborating together on stage was pretty fʻing special. I was so stoked that they wanted to fly me over specifically to document this event. It was the first time in many generations that kapa was worn on stage in a theatrical performance and also a test of todayʻs kapa to withstand the strenuous dance of Halau O Kekuhi.

Where did you shoot ”Hiiakaikanoeau?”

Hiiakaikanoeau took place at Maui Arts & Culture Center this past January. Brandy and I setup a mini studio in one of the spare rooms there to shoot the dancers before they took the stage.

When can people view these hula portraits?

These 12″x48″ canvas pieces will be on display during Merrie Monarch at Sig Zane Designs unless somebody already bought them, then your out of luck! 

Love for the 5th annual the #AntiCanvas on SweetLychee.com

January 4th, 2014

Thank you for the kind words about our boardshort art show and auction for charity, Sweet Lychee!

Trades Hawaii Recap of the 5th Annual The Anti Canvas

December 30th, 2013

Jake Ho from Trades Hawaii rolled through the 5th Annual The Anti Canvas: a showcase of board short art and auction for charity at the Honolulu Night Market, and put together a cool recap of the event. Check it out here. Thanks for the write-up, homies!

Contrast Hurley Anti-Canvas recap by Budiasa

December 27th, 2013

Hurley + CONTRAST presents the 5th annual ANTI CANVAS from Budiasa on Vimeo.

Mahalo to everybody who supported the #AntiCanvas on Saturday at Honolulu Night Market

December 22nd, 2013

The 5 W’s with Anti Canvas Artist Dana Paresa

December 21st, 2013

Dana Paresa

Daniel: Who inspires you as an artist?

Dana Paresa: Charles Burns, for sure.

What is your favorite medium to create with?

I really love brush and ink and how it translates digitally.

Why is the Anti Canvas a unique art event?

It creates the opportunity for people to imagine their work, artist or not, on an established brand. I wouldn’t have ever imagined I’d be doing something like this before.

Where do you find inspiration?

Weirdo news articles and general freakery sprinkled throughout history (HPD police sketches, quack medical devices, aliens)

When you first saw your Anti Canvas art work sublimated on Hurley Phantom shorts, what was the first thing that crossed your mind?

I want more.

The 5W’s with Anti Canvas Artist Keoni Payton

December 21st, 2013

Keoni Payton
Founder and Designer
Farmers Market Hawaii

Daniel: Who inspires you as an artist?

Keoni Payton: Probably Woes because I know him personally and saw his growth into the giant he is now. It let me know it was possible.

What is your favorite medium to create with?

Whatever’s available will be my favorite medium.

Why is the Anti Canvas a unique art event?

Makes Boardshorts feel alot more fun and intresting.

Where do you find inspiration?

In circumstance and doubt.

When you first saw your Anti Canvas art work sublimated on Hurley Phantom Shorts what was the first thing that crossed your mind?

I hope people bid on it and it makes a fuck ton of money for the Hawaii Foodbank!

The Anti Canvas 5W’s with Mitch McEwen

December 20th, 2013

Mitch McEwen
Hawaiian Island Creations Brand Manager

Daniel: Who inspires you as an artist?

Mitch McEwen: Mother Nature, if that counts as a “who”? Living in a place as beautiful as Hawaii, I see something every day that I want to capture and preserve as a photo or an idea for a composition. As for actual people, Wade Koniakowski’s art always makes me want to paint. His surf oriented subject matter appeals to me and I appreciate his ability to communicate so much with just a few loose brush strokes. I’m also really inspired by those artists whose work is very different from what I would ever do. It’s always interesting to see how differently others can see the World.

What is your favorite medium to create with?

Oil and acrylic paint would be my favorite, but time constraints keep me limited to mostly digital art these days. Most of my work is done in Photoshop with a Wacom Tablet and stylus that allow me to “paint” directly into the computer. When I do work with actual paint now I find myself wanting to hit “undue” whenever I paint a stroke I don’t like. The computer definitely makes things quicker and less messy, but I do like the feeling of pushing paint around on a canvas.

Why is the Anti Canvas a unique art event?

I like the way this event brings together artists from different backgrounds and disciplines, but then everyone’s art gets translated onto the same unique medium of a Hurley boardshort. For many of the artists this will be their first opportunity to see their art applied to something like a boardshort, and to be featured in an art show. The event helps expose these artists to a broader public and possible opportunities, all while raising money for deserving non-profit organizations like Waves for Water and The Hawai‘i Food Bank. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Where have you been dawn patrolling before work at HIC?

When I have time I’ll hit the North Shore - mostly V-land so far this season. Since my office is in Kailua I’ll just ride my SUP out at Flat Island when the winds are light. Any way that I can get in the water first thing in the morning always makes the rest of the day so much better.

When you first saw your Anti Canvas art work sublimated on Hurley Phantom Shorts what was the first thing that crossed your mind?

Going surfing.

The 5th Annual Anti Canvas presented by Hurley and Contrast Magazine on Saturday Dec. 21 at Honolulu Night Market

December 18th, 2013

Hurley and Contrast Magazine are proud to present the 5th annual The Anti Canvas: a showcase of boardshort art for charity on Saturday December 21, 2013 at Honolulu Night Market, an all-ages, block party held on the third Saturday of every month from 6-11pm.

Proceeds will benefit Waves For Water and their efforts in the Philippines with victims of Typhoon Haiyan as well as the Hawaii Foodbank. Entry is free and doors open at 6 pm for the art show and silent auction. This unique art event raised over $18,000 dollars for various charities since 2009.

The Anti Canvas: a showcase of boardshort art for charity utilizes “sublimation” to transfer original artwork from 25 local and international artists onto a pair of Hurley Phantom boardshorts. This manufacturing method preserves the integrity and details of the original artwork and designs. Some of the top artists this year include John John Florence, Clark Little, C.R. Stecyk III, Tim Hendricks, Keoni Payton, Aaron Kai, Carl Pao and Dana Paresa. Please find a full list of artists participating in the 5th annual The Anti Canvas: a showcase of boardshort art for charity below.

Aaron Kai
Aly Ishikuni
Ara Laylo
Bradie Shemke
C.R. Stecyk III
Carl Pao
Casey Ryder
Clark Little
Dana Paresa
Derek Bahn
Dietrich Varez
Graham Curran
Jay Takumi
John John Florence
John Paul Olson
Jon Rose
Kate Adams
Keoni Payton
Marc Dean Veca
Mitch McEwen
Nat Woolley
Remi Mead
Shaun Castro
Tim Hendricks

A Conversation with #AntiCanvas Artist Aaron Kai

December 17th, 2013

Text: Marika McHugh
Images: Sean Lequang

I first met Aaron back in 2011 on Instagram through the account that he uses for his clothing brand, Lemon Hawaii. We were both from different islands, but living in San Francisco, so there was an instant connection between us two creative, local kids who were trying to make it in a big city. Our paths eventually crossed, leading me to acquire my first Aaron original, which hangs promptly on my wall right below a detached San Francisco window that had been painted on by another bay area artist. Since then, I’ve followed his work and witnessed his growth as an artist. I flew up to the city this past November and had a chance to spend the day with Aaron. I picked his brain while we seamlessly navigated the enigmatic streets of the Tenderloin in San Francisco.

We began our day at Lee’s Sandwiches where we chomped on some BBQ pork Vietnamese deliciousness drenched in the Holy Grail that is Sriracha, and people watched through their huge glass window. He casually pointed out the similarities in parked cars and outfits that girls were wearing. His ability to notice details that were in fact the same, inversely revealed the part of his brain that allows him to differentiate himself from the crowd.

Aaron first got into art as a young Hilo boy. His mom would create line drawings for him and his older brother to color in. That activity eventually snowballed into Aaron creating his own drawings and characters, inspired by cartoons like Dragon Ball Z. It was only appropriate that the first thing that we did when he let me into his apartment was turn on a couple of episodes of DBZ while I sifted through sheets of stickers he had made using Copic markers. Aaron classifies himself as a “post-pop” artist, and if you take one look at his style, that label need not be explained. He marries bright colors and clean lines with often risqué subjects. “I create for people like me who are fucking weird on the inside and nobody knows,” said the 24-year-old artist. As a huge inner weirdo myself, I can appreciate that statement.

Artists such as Parra, Takashi Murakami and Kaws are responsible for having an influence on his style, but with the standard artist on artist influences aside, Aaron also looks towards other things for inspiration.

“This girl named Kelcie inspires me a lot. She was the first girl that I fell in love with, so a lot of the work I come up with are moments and emotions we shared together.”

We continued to venture the block to The Magazine Store. The walls of the interior of the store were lined with stacks upon stacks of vintage magazines and prints. We pulled some old issues of Playboy and Penthouse off the shelves, and he talked about wanting to illustrate over some of the nudes. This idea sounded slightly reminiscent of the tasteful work that Kaws did over photos of Kate Moss and I’d be more than interested in seeing Aaron hack out something similar in his own style.