Maka Hā: New works by Carl F.K. Pao, Kūpaʻa Hee, Cory Taum and Nicole Naone


Maka Hā is the fourth in a series of exhibitions dedicated to the Makahiki and ancient Hawaiian New Year. It will feature reinterpretations of indigenous symbolism for vision or Maka with a new group member, and the breath of life or Hā. The exhibition will showcase paintings and sculptures inspired by the relationship between teacher/kumu and student or “mimicry”, which largely defines ancient teaching and learning methods. As the works develop, the pieces and forms have been bouncing off of each other. The four artists will be working together in the studio. The students learning from the teacher and the teacher learning from the students. Maka Hā - Four views.

This new work is based on the theme on the theme of Maka with the addition of Ha… Kūpaʻa and Nicole will do sculptures. Carl and Cory will work with paintings and prints. Each provides powerful and beautiful indigenous symbolism re-interpreted for new audiences. The Makahiki season was the ancient Hawaiian New Year festival, in honor of the god Lono. Many religious ceremonies happened during this period. War was kapu (forbidden) and people stopped work, threw away their cell phones, made offerings, and spent time practicing sports, feasting, dancing and having a good time.

Carl Pao is a Contemporary Hawaiian Artist/Educator born, raised, living and working in the city of Honolulu. He earned a Bachelor's of Fine Arts from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa ('94) and a Master's of Fine Arts (w/ First Class Honours) from the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland ('99). Carl has been teaching full-time at the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama High School since 2000. Carl will present at least 10 pieces ranging in size from 48"h x 48"w to 60"h x 40"w to 74"h x 56"w.

Kūpaʻa Hee is a former student of Carl’s who has since shown at several important exhibit’s including a solo show at ii Gallery. As a modern Hawaiian, brought up in Eastern, Western and Pacific traditions, he gravitates towards historical events and people who have successfully found ways to meld multiple cultures in hopes that he may do so within himself: leaning on the past to inform the future.  Kūpaʻa will have approximately 10 pieces for the show. 

Cory Taum is a young Hawaiian artist that has a studio in Kakaako and practices a contemporary urban Hawaiian approach to art making including painting on drainage ditches, water tanks, freeway pillars, and abandoned military bunkers. He was a featured artists in the MAMo 2014 exhibition “Aloha my name is.” Reclamation of contested histories is a recurring theme in his work. Cory will have several large scale paintings in the show.

Nicole Naone received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Sculpture from the University of Hawai’i. She is a POW! WOW! alum inspired by beauty and its self-destruction and is working with black and white drawings and sculptures for this exhibit.