Kamea Hadar's 'Face Value' at Cukui Gallery

August 15, 2013

'Face Value' at Cukui gallery will feature new canvas works by Kamea Hadar and explores the human form and its relation to themes of sex, culture, and the human condition. The contrast of highly finished detail and rough paint strokes makes for an interesting balance of seemingly static imagery and the dynamic nature of an artist’s hand. This not only moves the viewers’ eyes around the pieces but pushes and pulls perspectives in and out. The use of negative space also adds to the dancing of perspective as well as allowing the audience to input pieces of their own interpretation. The show opens August 16th from 7-10pm. 

While not explicitly portraying typical themes from the Aloha State, subtle hints of Kamea’s roots in Hawaii can be found in many of the pieces including the state flower, the hibiscus. Although the official state flower is the yellow hibiscus or ilima, many of the commonly seen red hibiscus varieties found throughout the islands and in Hawaiian imagery, though related to the native yellow variety, were introduced more recently and are not considered “native” plants. In many ways this acts as a metaphor for the very mixed peoples and cultures of Hawaii, including the Israeli-born and Hawaii-raised artist himself. Hawaiian ancestry is one of the main themes in the painting entitled Kema, which depicts someone who is over three-quarters Hawaiian blood, something which is extremely rare today. The piece gives the viewer a choice of seeing the figure’s face disintegrating into the scull, a common symbol of death, or alternatively looking at the bones as the basis of flesh giving strength and form to the life layered over it. The bones or iwi, were sacred to the Native Hawaiians as they held the mana or spiritual power of a person and contrasts with the western views of life in flesh. Such comparisons of culture and interpretations of the human form can be seen throughout Kamea’s work in Face Value.

Kamea Hadar grew up in the worlds of his Japanese/Korean mother and Israeli father. As a child he took classes at the Honolulu Art Academy and University of Hawaii; and spent periods living, studying and creating at the Sorbonne in Paris, University of St. Louis in Madrid, University of San Diego and the University of Tel Aviv, Israel. He currently resides in Honolulu, HI, is the youngest board member of the Hawaii Arts Alliance, and is one of the lead directors of Pow! Wow! Hawaii. His work has evolved over the years from his very traditionally schooled oil on canvas photo-realism to more surreal portraits that experiment with negative space, strip down their subjects to their purest forms, and aim to communicate more with less.