I never knew about Hawaii’s admiration for President Barack Obama, until Honolulu artist and co-lead director of Pow! Wow! Worldwide Kamea Hadar, created this landmark mural as a tribute for his promotion of racial equality and ethnical diversity.
The mural was painted on the side of the Gary Galiher building facing towards Ward Avenue in the Kaka’ako district of Honolulu, also known as the home of POW! WOW! Hawaii. Galiher says, “This is a ‘thank you’ to President Obama for showing us just what is possible and representing Hawaii well.”
The tribute titled ‘Hapa’, has a Hawaiian meaning of ‘part’ or ‘partial’, which refers to those with mixed backgrounds. Being ‘hapa’ himself, raised in Hawaii and born to a Japanese/Korean mother and Israeli father, Hadar believes that, “Hawaii is an amazing melting pot of different races and cultures, which creates people with open minds and broadened horizons,”.
If you look closely at the mural, Obama’s inspiring 2008 speech on racial equality can be seen. Hadar says, “Of course there will alway be a few haters especially with a public figure but that’s ok – any response to art is better than indifference.”
Check out the below video by Redefined Media of Hadar’s creation process and hear him talk about the “Hybrid of Culture” that is Obama. I don’t know if it’s thanks to the soundtrack of the clip, the fact that Hader’s wife gave birth during the creation process, or because tomorrow is Friday and I can taste the weekend, but this video hits me right in the feels.
Don’t forget to take a look at the above gallery of photos of the powerful mural taken by photographers Jonas Maon and Andrew Tran and prepare to be inspired.
- Words: Monique Buccheri