Hawaiian Artist Kai’ili Kaulukukui’s Oceanic Whitetip

We welcome local Hawaiian Kai’ili Kaulukukui as he joins us for his debut RUN Oceanic Whitetip. Available in an extremely limited quantity of 35, Kaulukukui’s first release with us tackles marine life with a loose and flowing approach complimented with large drips cascading down the work. We caught up with the POW! WOW! Hawaii featured artists to discuss his debut release and more…


1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this piece, anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Kai’ili Kaulukukui: This painting of an Oceanic Whitetip is an anatomical reference painting that I will be basing my Pow Wow Hawaii 2016 image on.

1x: Was this piece part of a recent theme, series or show that you had?
Kai’ili Kaulukukui: This painting is part of a recent body of work that is based on sharks, and my dreams of children swimming amongst them. I’ve been producing a series of anatomical paintings of sharks as reference for other paintings and murals.

1x: When was this piece created and what materials were used?
Kai’ili Kaulukukui: This piece was painted on January 10 2016, specifically made for the 1xRun Pow Wow 2016 print show, and for ideas for my mural. It was painted with watercolor on Strathmore 400 series paper.

1x: Tell us a little bit about your process and how the idea and execution came about?
Kai’ili Kaulukukui: The process for these anatomical profiles of sharks includes a loose feel, that comes out in the drips down the paper, at the same time it tightens up around the actual shark and in the detail of the skin and light reflections. I place the sharks on the top of the paper to maximize the space in which the drips fall. The drips have a second purpose of causing unease in the viewer, people inherently have a desire for a sense of neatness and order.

1x: How long did this piece take from start to finish?
Kai’ili Kaulukukui: This piece took one full day in the studio, ten hours.

1x: What do you feel is unique about this piece compared to your other work?
Kai’ili Kaulukukui: This series of pieces is different in that I use reference photos heavily, normally I create animals and people poses entirely in my mind. This particular piece is different from the other anatomical shark paintings in that I changed my color palette making the work feel lighter.

1x: Describe this piece with one gut reactionary word.
Kai’ili Kaulukukui: Impermanence.

1x: What are your expectation this year for POW!WOW! Hawaii?
Kai’ili Kaulukukui: My expectations for Pow Wow Hawaii 2016 is the same as previous years, to meet as many artists as possible, and observe as much painting as I can!! I really try to take advantage of the opportunity to mingle with other creatives during Pow Wow.

1x: Without giving away too much, what are your plans for your mural out in Honolulu?
Kai’ili Kaulukukui: This year for Pow Wow, I’m going to focus my energy into a bit more detailed and complete mural. I normally paint an image that is rich in narrative and fills the entire space, but often lacks the fine line work and detail of my studio work. And this year I want to find a better balance between the two.

1x: Any of the participating artists on this year’s roster that you are excited to see painting?
Kai’ili Kaulukukui: I’m really stoked on the entire line up this year, but if I had to choose a hand full of artists that I’ve never seen work and am particularly excited for: Christina Angelina, Borondo, Haroshi, Audrey Kawasaki, Freddy Sam, Hebru Brantley, Edwin Ushiro and Matthew Tapia. And the artists I’m excited to see this year that I’ve met and seen work are: Hueman, Tati Suarez, Curiot, Bicicleta Sem Frio, Tristan Eaton, Woes and Seher.

1x: What’s your schedule like after POW!WOW! 2016? Any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?
Kai’ili Kaulukukui: I’m so excited for this coming year, just one month after Pow! Wow! Hawaii, I will be featured as a participating artist with Pangeaseed and their Seawalls project in Napier, New Zealand during March 10- 21.

1xRUN: Where else can people find you?
Kai’ili Kaulukukui: WebsiteInstagram @artworkofkai – PangeaSeed – Lana Lane Studios