In the Mix

POW! WOW! Hawaii returns

February 6th, 2015
STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014The streets of Kakaako and beyond will be crawling with artists from around the world as POW! WOW! Hawaii returns for its sixth year in Hawaii.


The streets of Kakaako and beyond will be crawling with artists from around the world as POW! WOW! Hawaii returns for its sixth year in Hawaii.

The sixth edition of POW! WOW! Hawaii is underway this week, with artists from around the world converging upon Honolulu to transform blank walls into street art masterpieces along with a variety of art and music programming — and parties.

Co-founders Kamea Hadar and Jasper Wong officially opened the festival on Jan. 28 at the Modern Honolulu with a POW! WOW! edition of the hotel’s Study Hall lecture series. While the actual painting most people associate with POW! WOW! doesn’t start until Monday, Hadar explained how they learned it was necessary to extend the festival from one to two weeks in length.

“The artists would show up, and some of them would go straight from the airport and start painting,” he said. “They would be from Europe or South Africa and totally jet-lagged, but they would be out there painting. So we extended it to two weeks. The first week is about getting over the jet-lag and experiencing the culture in Hawaii.

“If we take them straight into the heart of Honolulu into this industrial area and they don’t get to decompress, they just try to get the painting done so they can go to the beach. This way, we let them relax for a few days, go to the beach … and get their base tan in.”

It also means POW! WOW! Hawaii includes a couple of pretty big parties before the hard work starts next week. The Lei-Over, a Hawaii version of the popular Los Angeles-based Do-Over party hosted by DJs Haycock and Strong, goes down Saturday at Buho Cantina in Waikiki starting at 6 p.m.

And on Sunday, the popular Grey Goose Dayclub partners with Purps for a POW! WOW! edition from noon to 6 p.m. at the Modern Honolulu.



Here’s a rundown of additional POW! WOW! Hawaii events:

» “Exploring the New Contemporary Art Movement” Opening Reception: POW! WOW! Hawaii exhibition curated by Andrew Hosner (Thinkspace Gallery), 6-10 p.m. Saturday at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, 111 Victoria St. Free.

» 1xRun Print Exhibit: 6-10 p.m. Tuesday at Fresh Cafe Kakaako, 831 Queen St. Free.

» Jeff Staple: New York designer talks with visiting artists; followed by a panel discussion, 6-8 p.m. Wednesday (Kevin Lyons) and Thursday (James Jean) at Kakaako Agora, 441 Cooke St. Free.

» PM Tenore: Founder/president of RVCA curates POW! WOW! Hawaii exhibition, 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Modern Honolulu, Sun Suite. Free. Afterparty from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. at Addiciton Nightclub. Cover: $10-$200.

» All That Matters: ‘Zine workshop, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 14 at Fresh Cafe Kakaako. Free; all ages. (808) 351-9812,

» POW! WOW! Finale Block Party: Presented by Honolulu Night Market, 6 to 11 p.m. Feb. 14 along Cooke Street. Free.

» Secret Walls: Live art battle, 8 to 10 p.m. Feb. 14 at 327 Lana Lane. Free.

» Deltron 3030: Alternative hip-hop supergroup with Del The Funky Homosapien, DJ Kid Koala, and Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, with Mangchi Hammer, 8 p.m. Feb. 17 at The Republik, 1349 Kapiolani Blvd. Tickets: $30. (855) 235-2667, 18+

For those who can’t make it — or don’t even live in Hawaii — online art gallery 1xRun is again offering the artwork of featured POW! WOW! Hawaii artists for sale. A number of the pieces on display at Tuesday’s Fresh Cafe exhibition will be available for purchase via the website.

“The reason we do a print exhibition and an original, on-canvas exhibition is because we try to … help build a collector base in Hawaii,” Wong said. “Certain people can afford original paintings, but then younger people might not be able to afford that, so they can pick up prints. We try to cover that whole spectrum so people are part of the art world, collecting art and also building the art industry in Hawaii.”


Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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