1xRUN Thru Interview
Liar by Kamea Hadar
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this piece, was it part of a recent theme or series you had?
Kamea Hadar: The ancient Hawaiian God Kanaloa is many times represented in the form of an octopus. Kanaloa was a close companion of the God Kane, and the two were considered complimentary powers. Kanaloa was said to be the God of the underworld and in some stories is referred to as evil and in conflict with Kane. Some debate that this view of Kanaloa came about from Christian missionaries efforts to recast the four major divinities of Hawaiʻi in the image of the Christian Trinity plus Satan. The eyes and number of legs of the octopus and Kanaloa are also significant in Hawaiian mythology with the number eight (legs) symbolizing great power. This power radiates around the figure, but lacks the central focal point of both the octopus’ and figure’s eyes which are veiled by the animal and negative space. This piece is part of a series of new work in which I experiment with new media and my Japanese roots. In the past few years I have been exploring quite a bit of my father’s Jewish/Israeli side with periods living and painting in Israel, but have not dove into my mother’s Asian side quite as much.
1xRUN: How did the idea and execution come about for this piece?
Kamea Hadar: The female figure was created with oil paints but the Tako (Japanese for octopus) legs were created in the Japanese tradition of gyotaku, or fish printing. The animal is placed on a flat surface with its legs arranged, painted with watered down sumi ink and then pressed with rice paper leaving the imprint of the tako. My friends and I catch the tako and other fish that I use in my pieces when we go spearfishing and depending on the type of ink I use they are usually still edible after the printing process.
1xRUN: When was the piece created?
Kamea Hadar: The concept for the piece started mid 2012 as cover artwork for The Green’s new single Liar. The band wanted an image that related to the ocean and a friend of ours Po’ohala Atay suggested that I somehow incorporate a tako, or octopus. Po’o passed away August 5, 2012 and the piece was dedicated to him.
1xRUN: How long did the piece take?
Kamea Hadar: I worked along side a friend of mine Brandon Tengan who creates fish prints for a living. To get the final piece it still took many, many tries to get the perfect positioning, amount of ink, and crisp details in the final gyotaku.
1xRUN: What is unique about this piece?
Kamea Hadar: I think that the combination of traditional mediums like oils and gyotaku not only together, but in a more contemporary composition make the piece unique. Gyotakus are usually meant to look as close to the live animal as possible, with positions that mimic nature. In the same way that modern oil paintings do not necessarily need to be as realistic as possible, so does my modern-day take on this ancient Japanese art form.
1xRUN: As a local artist in Hawaii, what do you feel is most important for visiting artists to take away from their time in Hawaii?
Kamea Hadar: I think that one of the most important things to see in Hawaii is the mixing of cultures and how beautiful and interesting it can be. Myself and my artwork are examples of this. I’m what you call “hapa,” which literally means “half” in Hawaiian. I’m half Caucasian (my father is from Israel) and a quarter Korean and quarter Japanese from my mother. The same weird combinations can be seen in pieces like Liar, which make for interesting results!