1xRUN Thru Interview
Kupuna Maka by Carl F.K. Pao
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about this piece, is the original still for sale?
Carl F.K. Pao: This print is of an original painting from my most recent solo exhibit during the month of November at the Mahoa Gallery, Honolulu and yes, the original is still for sale.
1xRun: Was this piece part of a recent theme, series or show that you had? If so how did it fit into that given grouping?
Carl F.K. Pao: The print is of the last painting I did for my show titled Maka. Maka is a Hawaiian word with numerous meanings, but is more known as the meaning of the eye(s) of a face. Here I am exploring one or several of the overlapping meanings of Maka. More specifically, that Maka also means the male component of a flower. I have the Maka within a mouth of a kiʻi being protected from harm.
1xRun: What materials did you use to paint this piece with?
Carl F.K. Pao: The painting is graphite, acrylic and shellac on stretched canvas.
1xRun: When was the piece painted and how long did it take to complete?
Carl F.K. Pao: I finished this piece back in October of 2013. I would say it took me about two weeks to complete.
1xRun: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Carl F.K. Pao: The work is a just a small example of the breadth of art that is considered Native Hawaiian or Kanaka Maoli art.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Carl F.K. Pao: The work is inspired through my personal investigation of my Hawaiian culture and the brilliant carved wooden ki’i or images of my ancestors.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Carl F.K. Pao: It combines elements of customary Hawaiian imagery and concepts with that of today creating a work that unique to today.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Carl F.K. Pao: Collectors have the opportunity to own a work of contemporary Native Hawaiian or Kanaka Maoli art before it explodes on to the international art scene.
1xRun: Describe this piece in one gut reaction word.
Carl F.K. Pao: Timeless.
1xRun: Have you participated in Pow Wow Hawaii previously? Who are you most looking forward to seeing paint at this year’s event?
Carl F.K. Pao: I participated the first year here in Honolulu as an art teacher with my students from Kamehameha Schools. I always look forward to seeing the works of Prime, Estria, Solomon Enos, Cory Taum, Kahi Beamer, Keoni Paakaula, Vers, and any of the local talent on a large public scale.
1xRun: Anybody you’d personally like to collaborate with if the opportunity presented itself?
Carl F.K. Pao: It is so hard to choose just one. I loved working with Solomon Enos in the past on previous projects, but never anything on the scale of the face of a building. That would be brilliant.
1xRun: As a local Hawaiian artist, what would you like for visiting artists to take away from their time in Hawaii?
Carl F.K. Pao: For them to really invest in the time to understand and experience the “other” Hawaiʻi that may or may not be advertised. To know that we are just like most any other destination that has it issues and not some idyllic paradise in the middle of the Pacific.
1xRun: Who are some of your favorite Hawaiian artists for the uninitiated?
Carl F.K. Pao: Other than the ones that I mentioned previously, that is for me to find out myself. We have countless talented artists out there that have not been discovered for whatever reason or reasons.
1xRun: Do you have any plans for your wall out there or are you just going to improvise it when you get there?
Carl F.K. Pao: First, if I have a wall or am able to collaborate with someone that would be tremendous. Then what do I do, that would be a collaborative effort? My input would be how to challenge and inform the viewer.
1xRun: How did 2013 wrap up for you?
Carl F.K. Pao: Pretty crazy. Had surgery. Anytime you survive any type of surgery, it really makes you reconsider your focus and values.
1xRun: Aside from Pow Wow 2014, what are your plans for the new year?
Carl F.K. Pao: I made a decision to do my best to do a new iPad drawing everyday and post it to FB and Instagram. Create a new website. Also, confirmed an exhibition with up-and-coming artist sculptor Kūpaʻa Hee in November. Get healthy.
1xRun: Anything you’d like to add that we didn’t touch on?
Carl F.K. Pao: Always honored and humbled to work with new people on projects. Networking and collaborating is so instrumental in us better understanding and appreciating each other on all the levels of existence. With that, maybe we can work towards creating a better future for our children and their children’s children.