Monday, October 29, 2012

“Battle of the Pueo”

“Battle of the Pueo”

A community project of the Honolulu Police Department, local residents and 808 Urban, with support from Hilton Waikiki Prince Hotel, and numerous other businesses.

Kuhio Ave at Lili‘uokalani Ave., Honolulu, HI
Artists: 808 Urban Jr. Boards, Prime, Estria
September 2012

















Wednesday, June 20, 2012

O ka Mihi ka La’au Mua, a he Piko Hou

“O ka Mihi ka La’au Mua, a he Piko Hou”
New Beginnings Start With Forgiveness

Cooke St. at Auahi St., Honolulu, HI
Artists: Prime, Trek6, Mike Bam, Estria
February 2012

O ka Mihi ka Laau

This mural is about rebirth, regeneration and new beginnings. New beginnings must first begin with forgiveness. Before forgiveness, we must acknowledge our fears.

The mural brings the old stories back to life by connecting them with today's youth. It is a place for parents to share stories with their families. It has allowed for energy to flow again, despite all the concrete.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

O ka Mihi ka Laau

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Lono, the god of fertility, is surrounded with kamapua'a (pigs), kalo (taro) roots, verdant greenery and an ohia flower to symbolize rebirth. The ohia grows on lava rock, where nothing should grow. Lono has his o'o (staff) he uses to touch the earth, allowing the waters of life to flow, and crops to grow. The food represents prosperity, the kind that existed before money. Hi'iaka's waters surround the eight major Hawaiian islands. Behind Lono is the Taino (native Puerto Rican) symbol for fertility.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

O ka Mihi ka Laau

A young Kanaloa, the ocean god, is paddling a wa'a (canoe) to the newly born islands.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Pele is based on a photo of Prime's daughter.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Where the lava meets the ocean, new land begins. Pele, goddess of the volcano, greets Kanaloa with a honi, a kanaka maoli greeting of touching noses and souls, and breathing together.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Kane, the god of life, artistic inspiration and spirituality relaxes with his head in the storm clouds. Half po (night) and half day, he is the bringer of the storm rains, from which all crops and life spring forth. As the first god of the Hawaiian Islands, he is wearing the lei palaoa, indicating his position as the head of the family of gods. The palaoa is carved like an open mouth, to represent 'ha' the breath of life.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Behind Kane stands his daughter Poli'ahu, the snow goddess.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

In the 'awa bowl can be seen the word 'mihi,' which means forgiveness. Kawa brings people together and brings clarity and healing.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Kane and Poli'ahu are wading in the sacred waters of Waiau, the small lake on Mauna Kea, formed solely of melted snow water. Waiau is considered sacred and a few ali'i would go there to bathe and be purified. The cycle of water is shown as rainwater, stream flow, and evaporation rising up to the clouds. All life is dependent on the cycle of water.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Poli'ahu is wearing a Manuheali'i dress with laua'e leaves. Estria envisioned her as stylish and contemporary. The leaves represent fertility. Her name is two parts: poli, meaning breast/in the arms of, and 'ahu meaning coat/garment. Without the okina, ahu's meaning is temple. Her coat is the cold wind, represented by clouds swirling around her. She can only exist if Kane brings the rain.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Mo‘oinanea, the mo‘o guardian of lake Waiau.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Behind Poli'ahu is Mauna a Wakea with her coat of snow wrapped around its peak. From ocean floor to peak, Mauna a Wakea is the biggest mountain and is a sacred vortex, connecting Earth with the heavens. The development of telescopes on her peaks will block that energy flow. The telescopes must not be allowed there. Above Mauna Akea a portal opens, shining light on the dancing gods.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Ku, the god of war and husbandry, protects love, and provides for the family. These gods have a balance of hard and soft sides. All the Ku energy in the world needs to be counterbalanced by Hina energy, and that would usher in a new era of beauty and love.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Trek added the ancient Taino symbol for leader/be the leader.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Ku and Hina dancing are a perfect yin yang. Hina, the moon goddess, guides the wa'a navigators. She is the epitome of femininity. Ku is also a god of prosperity, here with fish swimming at his feet, and kalo surrounding them.

O ka Mihi ka Laau

Mahalo nui loa to Jasper Wong, Pow Wow Hawai'i, Kamehameha Schools, Fletcher Jones Company, MTN Colors, Kamana'o, Jen, Auli'i, and our family and friends for supporting us!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Just for a Day 2012

“Just for a Day”
Estria and Prime
Kalauokalani Way off of Kapi‘olani Boulevard, Honolulu, O‘ahu
January 2012


For this project, Estria wanted to experiment with creating a full-sized character that would cover the entire surface of one wall. He wanted the character to be painted completely with a paint sprayer, as opposed to spray paint. It turned out that a 22’ tall wall wasn’t big enough for the paint sprayer method, though he did spray the entire base coats, which took one day.

In this mural, the angry he‘e holds up King Kamehameha’s skull above the waterline so he can see how the development on our islands has desecrated sacred land, and forever destroyed natural ground water flows.


After painting this, Estria’s mother suggested he research the he‘e’s significance in Hawaiian lore. Kanaloa is known as the great he‘e. A line from a pule/prayer, says: “E Kanaloa, ke akua o ka he'e.” In ancient days people would pray to Kanaloa when they were sick. It is fitting that Kanaloa, the god of sea-farers/ocean/destruction, is protecting Kamehameha, and is summoned to heal the sick islands.


"In the mythology of old Hawaii, Kanaloa was the god of the ocean, a healer god, and the close companion of Kane, the god of creation. They would journey together, share the sacred drink of 'awa, and use their staves to strike the ground and cause springs of fresh water to burst forth. Rare statues of Kanaloa feature him with round eyes, unlike those of any other representations of the gods. In the Hawaiian language, "kanaloa" is also used as a word that means "a sea shell; the young stage of a certain fish; an alternate name for Kaho'olawe Island; and secure, firm, immovable, established, unconquerable." A root translation of the word, ka-na-loa, means "the great peace, or the great stillness." The word also has the connotation of total confidence. In the esoteric tradition of Huna Kupua, Kanaloa represents the Core Self, or the center of the universe within oneself."

In Hawaiian tradition, the number eight is symbolic of great power.

Kamehameha is missing his two front teeth, which in those days represented mourning—people removed their teeth to mourn the loss of loved ones.

'Onipa'a Oakland 2011

Estria, Prime, Bam
Youth Empowerment School, Oakland, California
October 2011


Surprisingly, this public school in Oakland has a number of Hawaiian and Samoan youth, and Estria wanted them to be represented in the mural. Estria painted the word, ‘Onipa’a, and Prime, a Rasta Tiki. They put the 8 major Hawaiian islands in the letter, ‘O’.


‘Onipa’a is a combination of two words: ‘oni means ‘movement,’ and pa’a means ‘to stand firm, still, steadfast.’ ‘Onipa‘a was a word often used by Kamehameha and Lili‘uokalani. The Queen spoke of ‘Onipa‘a as the way our kingdom would survive.



“‘Onipa’a” was the last command of our Queen to her people to avoid bloodshed…
Hawai‘i is illegally occupied by the U.S.!
‘Onipa’a means “to hold steadfast”
“Hold on to your culture, and progress forward!!!”
--Prime, October 2011

Malama e,
Prime and Estria


'Onipa'a Kaka'ako 2011

Estria, Prime, Katch, Evolve, Look, Bieste, Beak
Pohukaina Street at Koula Street, Honolulu, O‘ahu
September 2011


Pow Wow founder, Jasper Wong, and Kamehameha Schools invited Prime and I to paint a mural in the Kaka'ako district of Honolulu. The mural inaugurates the Pow Wow Hawai'i event and what will become an arts destination in 2012. Here is our interpretation of the Hawaiian Coat of Arms. We decided to put as much culture as possible into the mural to give the people a gift they can call their own.

Kamanawa by Prime

Prime’s initial idea was to paint King Kamehameha, but without any photos to work from, this proved difficult. Shortly before this mural, 808Urban and The Estria Foundation had produced The Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Brook Kapukunuahi Parker met Prime and Estria there. He had painted the Hawaiian Coat of Arms twice. During a phone call with Prime, Estria came up with the idea of painting the Kingdom of Hawai‘i Coat of Arms. In hindsight, there were signs leading to the mural: a patch Estria had bought from the ‘Iolani Palace lay on his desk. Estria’s friend, Kimmie Ganade, had recently told him she had a vision of the Coat of Arms.

The two ali’i on the Coat of Arms were twin advisors to King Kamehameha. According to Brook Kapukuniahi Parker, “When Kame'eiamoku and Kamanawa were living on Maui, their older brother Kahahekili, made them kapu and sent them to Hawaii to stay by Kamehameha's side and be his "kahu" (guardians). Kahekili is recognized as one po'olua father to Kamehameha. His other po'olua father was Keoua (half brother of Kalaniopu'u with the same mother) of Hawaii. The twins were instructed by Kahekili to protect, advise, guide and teach Kamehameha. They remained faithful to their young charge during the reign of Alapa'i, and after his death, Kalaniopu'u's that followed. They continued serving well into Kamehameha's own rise to power. They were by his side until their own deaths preceded the culmination of his conquests.”


Prime and Estria wanted to connect this piece of history to the modern day. Artists Katch, Evolve, Look, and Beak were invited to add their influences to both sides of the image.

This mural offers deep respect for our kupuna in the historically strife-laden land section of Kaka‘ako.


Kame'eiamoku by me



Lei o Mano, shark tooth warclub


Warriors by Katch One


Beak's bird surfing


Character by Bieste EV


My he'e (octopus) guarding King Kamehameha's bones