Art / At most restaurants, pieces of art can hang unbeknownst to eaters like Costco décor with no message. But at town in Kaimuki, paintings from Solomon Enos and an installation by Mark Chai accompany Executive Chef Ed Kenney’s locally sourced entrees.
Enos’s series, titled Images from the Realm of Po, were inspired from his trip to Hawaii’s north-westernmost chain, the Kupuna Islands. As a partaker of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-led cruise, Enos visited the nursery of islands, also named the Papahanaumokuakea National Monument.
He explains his inspiration: “In Hawaiian culture, we like to always refer . . . to the source . . . [being] very deliberate with how we do things, whether it’s [through] art or even urban planning.” Enos says his pieces allow viewers to experience the land for themselves.
Images of the Realm of Po provides “layers of experience,” he says, by creating a connection between the alien and unearthly landscapes of the most ancient Hawaiian Islands with innate human emotion. “You look at one panel and get a perspective, then look at another and get a different experience of the same perspective,” he says. “They’re not separate paintings of different islands.” Each 13-by 13-inch oil on canvas piece sells for $3,000, a third of which will be donated to cultural programs targeted in promoting community awareness to the majestic Papahanaumokuakea National Monument, through NOAA.
Chai’s sculptural installation series, called Moo, seeks to define what “moo” is. Various definitions point to concrete nouns, such as lizards or reptiles, but also to incredibly abstract ideas such as lineage, traditional and legendary. Chai’s installation combines the essence of these explanations together visually.