1xRUN Thru Interview
Fragments 2 by Ian Kuali’i
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this piece, is the original still for sale?
Ian Kuali’i: This piece was originally created as a commission for a collector in New York City and rests on his wall. I do have a few freestyle hand cut paper/mixed media pieces and a handful of Afterlife cans available here with the print release. I’m really happy to be making this image available in an affordable print as it is probably my favorite out of the Fragments Series thus far.
1xRUN: Was this piece part of a recent theme, series or show that you had?
Ian Kuali’i: The ‘Fragments’ style with the skull, (currently) female features, rips, tears and motion elements are an ongoing examination of fading beauty and the traps of vanity one comes in contact with in every city.
1xRUN: What materials and process did you use to create this piece?
Ian Kuali’i: All of my recent works are hand cut paper which is either completely adhered or tack mounted on mixed media painted wood panels that are usually framed in the end.
1xRUN: When was the piece created and how long did it take to complete?
Ian Kuali’i: It took about a months time. This piece was originally commissioned in August 2013 and completed by September 2013 for the private collection of Andy Kim of Stink Grenade Studio.
1xRUN: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Ian Kuali’i: I’ve always just been completely taken by humans…love’m…hate’m…
Photo by Andy Kim
1xRUN: What is unique about this piece?
Ian Kuali’i: The eyes man! How the patterns etc frame the eyes…
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Ian Kuali’i: They should buy it to help feed my family and to add something nice to their collection?
1xRUN: Describe this piece in one gut reaction word.
Ian Kuali’i: I’m going to make one up…how about “Copioustupenditude”?
1xRUN: You have some big news coming up with a museum residency, what is going down with that, are you allowed to share some news yet?
Ian Kuali’i: So yeah…this amazing opportunity is going down which I plan on creating two solid bodies of work during. I’ll be out in San Francisco for almost 3 months building with folks and producing. See details here.
1xRUN You’ve been staying busy since your last RUN with us the Afterlife can series, bring us up to speed on what you’ve been up to?
Ian Kuali’i: Since then I’ve been super busy knocking out commissions for collectors, experimenting with new styles, donating art work to charitable organizations, prepping for multiple group shows during Art Basel Miami 2013, composing for the Aqueduct Murals curated by good friend Joe Iurato, creating for a group show in Zurich and Japan, finalizing all of the details for my de Young Museum Fellows residency/exhibition and show partnership with the Galeria De La Raza in SF and finally but most importantly…expecting my lovely baby daughter Luna to grace us at the end of February right in the middle of my museum residency. Exciting times ahead!!!
1xRUN: Who are some influences that you have that might not be as apparent to viewers when taking a first look at your work?
Ian Kuali’i: I’ve been going back and looking at the incredibly powerful works of Kara Walker alot recently. To me she embodies all things great about hand cut paper. Her ability to both repulse and attract the viewer with the complexity of her narratives while using the simplest of cuts is truly a gift.
1xRUN: You have a bit of history tied to Hawaii, how has that shaped your attitude as an artist and what has you relationship been with Hawaii throughout the years?
Ian Kuali’i: Yes I do. From my mother’s side of the family I come from the Kuali’i bloodline which is an ancient lineage of Hawaiian chiefs. Ku after the Hawaiian God and Ali’i which basically means chief. Being a “Modern Hawaiian” has always meant that we walk in two worlds. One foot in the Ancient World and the other in the New World but constantly being mindful of where to step.
1xRUN: Last year in Hawaii you had mentioned you hadn’t been there in a bit, what was it like heading back for Pow Wow and will you be heading back to Hawaii anytime soon?
Ian Kuali’i: Pow Wow Hawaii was a life changing experience for me! It was a serious artistic spiritual vacation. I got to meet so many brilliant creative minds in the land of my ancestors and spend quality time with my extended Hawaiian art family Estria and Prime. I’m hoping that I can take a quick break from my museum residency to fly out and support Pow Wow Hawaii 2014. The line up this year is insane!
Photo by Andy Kim
1xRUN: We are happy to see that you have a growing art collection that features a few 1xRUN pieces, what are some of your favorites in your collection and why?
Ian Kuali’i: Thank you for the quality you cats produce first off! It’s dope to both collect from and work with you guys! Hmmm…my favorites would be all of the originals my mentor Doze Green has given me throughout the years, the extremely rare Kaws illegally etched Path Train 9th Street subway signs that were acquired in a hush hush sorta way (if you know what I mean) , a small drawing collaboration on vintage watercolor postcard by Os Gemeos and Doze done for me while we were chillin’ on the street median for the Os Gemeos Bowery/Houston mural and finally this amazing art trade I just received from the stencil Master of all stencil Masters Logan Hicks which is a HUGE honor!!! It’s all about the personal connection to these pieces which make them my favorite.
1xRUN: Anything else going on that we did not touch on?
Ian Kuali’i: Yes as a matter of fact. So it’s been in the workings for awhile now…but I’m Executive Producing/Art Directing for a project to bringing 7 of the last tracks my Grandmaster Rammellzee ever recorded to light. I won’t get into too heavy of details but let’s just say some ill art and remix concepts are on the drafting table! M1 reporting for duty Ram Ram Ell Ell Zee Zee leave no bones!!!