The Arts

Throughout the world, art is used as a tool to express emotions, perpetuate culture and convey meaningful messages. Hawai‘i is no exception. Art has long served an important role in sharing stories about the treasured history of our beloved islands. SALT at Our Kaka‘ako is proud to serve as an art hub, showcasing an impressive collection of original murals created by talented local and global artists. Through an ongoing partnership between Kamehameha Schools and POW! WOW! Hawai‘i, SALT has become canvas for these large-scale paintings that are popular among visitors and locals alike.

“Public art, like the murals at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, helps bring about conversations and engagement about the place and its people,” said Jasper Wong, founder and lead director of POW! WOW! “We are grateful for our partnership with Kamehameha Schools and SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, where we can share creativity, beautify the community and bring people together.”

The murals located throughout SALT embody the vibrant culture of the Arts District of Our Kaka’ako and highlight the relevant history of the area, its people and legacy. Discover the arts at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, on your next visit!

Coral Street, by Morning Brew

Tokidoki mural
Artist: Simone Legno / @tokidokibrand

This eye-catching mural was created for POW! WOW! Hawai‘i 2020 by Simone Legno, co-founder/creative director of the Tokidoki brand. The mural draws directly from Legno’s signature, distinctive art designs used in his brand. Tokidoki means “sometimes” in Japanese. Legno chose the word for his love of Japanese and other world cultures, adding that everyone waits for moments that will change their destiny. SALT is a perfect location for this international message.

Coral Street

Da Cat Bus
Artist: Derick Fabian (7SKETCHES)

Located on Coral Street at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, this whimsical piece of art was completed by Derick Fabian in honor of the 10th year anniversary of POW! WOW! Hawai‘i. The mural is a fun, local twist to the popular Japanese animated film My Neighbor Totoro. Da Cat Bus was completed by Fabian, along with friends and family enlisted to help complete the mural in a timely manner.

the cat bus
Between the Courtyard and Coral Street parking area

Return of King Kalākaua
Artist: Cory Taum & Kahiau Beamer

The stunning “Return of King Kalākaua” mural was completed for POW! WOW! Hawai‘i in 2018. Talented local artists Cory Taum and Kahiau Beamer teamed up to complete the mural. Both were born and raised in Hawai‘i and are heavily influenced by its culture. King David Kalākaua — the Merrie Monarch — was the first monarch in Hawaiian history to tour the globe and return back to Hawai‘i. King Kalākaua was also a patron of the arts. All who see the compelling mural are reminded of this beloved King and his significance in Hawaiian history.

Ala Moana Boulevards, on the Six Eighty building

Smell the Sea
Artist: How Nosm

This colorful mural is located on the Ala Moana Boulevard side of Six Eighty, a residential condominium. “Smell the Sea” was created by How and Nosm, aka Raoul and Davide Perré, for the 2019 POW! WOW! Hawai‘i. The twin brothers from Germany are known around the world for their detailed artwork influenced by their graffiti background. This piece focuses on climate change, ocean and wildlife preservation, and the effects on human kind. Towards the bottom of the mural, two fish peek above the ocean in distress. Next to the fish, is a fisherman on his boat. An added flower maintains the importance of Hawaiian culture and ties the mural together. Finally, above the flower, are three figures. To the right, a large figure holds a smaller figure in his arm (in white color) shielding him from another figure symbolizing those disregarding nature’s value. Smell the Sea’s immense size may catch your attention through its vibrant hues, but with a closer look you will see the intricate details that tell an important story.

Keawe Street

Green New Deal
Artist: Sergio Garzon

Sergio Garzon is a Muisca artist from Bogota, Colombia. Muisca, also known as Chibcha, are indigenous people from the Andean plains of Colombia. Garzon has an extensive background in hand-drawn designs and illustrations, but has also expanded into new mediums like watercolor on paper, printmaking, and screen printing. For this mural, the artist used a highly-effective watercolor technique to create this brilliant mural, representing O‘ahu’s famous and storied Pali Lookout. Green New Deal was created as a part of POW! WOW! Hawai‘i in 2020.

The Barn at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako

Artist: Jurne

Among the diverse display of murals found inside The Barn at SALT is Jurne’s unnamed, abstract mural. His bold use of colors and lines fills the side of one of the barn walls. Jurne’s unique graffiti style is typically filled with rich colors, lettering and abstract shapes. His artwork can range from hand-cut paper to screen printing, all while utilizing the graffiti style. This commanding, abstract mural was created for POW! WOW! Hawai‘i in 2020.

The Barn at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako

Ka Ua Lehua
Artist: Kahiau Beamer

In celebration of the event’s 10th anniversary, Kahiau Beamer (aka Thunder Hoof) painted the dramatic “Ka Ua Lehua” mural for POW! WOW! Hawai’i 2020. Beamer is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapalama and finds influence in modern art, design, and graffiti. The artist is known to tie cultural practices into his pieces. You can also enjoy viewing Beamer’s Bernice Pauahi Bishop mural, located in the SALT Courtyard.

The Barn at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako

Hands of Peace
Artist: Luke Dekneef

Located in The Barn at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, this magnificently colorful mural of flowers and hands tells a story of unity. Rotary International partnered with local artist Luke Dekneef to illustrate the many people that have been influenced by the Rotary Clubs’ service projects. The partnership and mural were to commemorate the 111th Rotary International Convention, originally scheduled in Honolulu in 2020 (subsequently canceled due to travel restrictions). The different colors of hands and flowers represent diversity and ethnicity, which convey the importance of promoting peace and togetherness around the globe. The mural was painted as part of the celebrated POW WOW! Hawai‘i 2020 event.

The Barn at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako

Artist: Mark “Feijão” Milligan II

Located in The Barn at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, artist Mark “Feijão” Milligan II teamed up with students from Kamehameha Schools to create this striking mural. It celebrates and honors the native people of Hawai‘i. To ensure cultural accuracy and sensitivity, the artist sought counsel from a local “kumu” (teacher). The mural displays a feminine and masculine face along with symbols representing Hawaiian culture. The Pleiades, seen on the right, is a constellation that is used for navigation. It was regularly employed by the Hōkūleʻa, the Polynesian voyaging canoe, and its predecessors. The ‘Iwa (which translates to thief) bird, is shown on the right and is known to be mischievous. It also signifies the energy of gathering and was recognized for its ability to navigate. The mural was painted as part of the POW! WOW! Hawai‘i 2020 event.

Mauka Side of The Barn at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako

Artist: Santiago Otani

On the mauka side of The Barn at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, Santiago Otani’s thought-provoking mural focuses on the celebration of everyday people. The mural resembles a scrapbook, which features the wonderfully ordinary residents of Kaka‘ako’s past. Otani drew inspiration from his mother’s collection of old photographs of the area and from Marsha Gibson’s book, “Kaka‘ako As We Knew It.” The images of everyday people are set alongside portraits of well-known musicians, entertainers, and athletes who are also from or associated with Kaka‘ako. This includes Gabby Pahinui, Danny Lopes, and familiar faces like Emme Tomimbang. Otani considers this mural a celebration of some of the local heroes of the area.

Keawe Street

Artist: Sean Yoro aka Hula

Outside of The Barn at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, you’ll find Hula’s painting modeled after one of his friends. Hula, a Hawaiʻi-born artist, enjoys travelling the world and merging the emotions of his paintings along with the environment they appear in. His work showcases his unique talent to create both street and fine art. This stunningly beautiful mural was painted as part of the POW! WOW! Hawai‘i 2016 event.

Keawe Street

Wooden Wave mural
Artist: Matthew and Roxanne Ortiz, Wooden Wave

This multifaceted mural, located on the corner of Auahi Street and Keawe Street near Bevy, helps welcome visitors to SALT at Our Kaka‘ako. The iconography in this piece references the cultural and historical changes that have shaped the Kaka‘ako district. Geographically, Kaka‘ako is a transitional space between the mountains (mauka) and the seaside (makai). In ancient times, Kaka‘ako was known for its fish ponds and salt fields, referenced by the swooping band of orange crystals in the lower half of the mural and the blue fish forms streaming upward. The gears symbolize the industrial era of Kaka‘ako. This special piece of work is the epitome of storytelling through art.


Bernice Pauahi Bishop
Artist: Kahiau Beamer

Kahiau Beamer’s poignant courtyard mural at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako celebrates Bernice Pauahi Bishop with a series of portraits. Bernice Pauahi Bishop was a Hawaiian aliʻi (nobility) and the founder of Kamehameha Schools. Beamer, as an alumnus of the school, always had a deep admiration for her. The mural illustrates a balance between the commercial growth of Kaka’ako and the young, creatively driven demographic that lives and works alongside it.

Parking Structure

Naupaka Murals
Artist: Kamea Hadar

Located on the exterior walls of the SALT at Our Kakaʻako parking structure, the grand Naupaka Murals are inspired by the legend of the naupaka flower. On the makai-facing wall, you’ll find the face of the beautiful Naupaka, sister of the fire goddess Pele. On the mauka-facing wall, you’ll find the face of Kaui, a fisherman. According to legend, these two were star-crossed lovers and that Pele became jealous of their affection, seeking to kill the couple. To escape Pele’s rage, Kaui fled to the mountains while Naupaka fled to the sea. After their death, flowers began to grow near the seashore and in the mountains that were similar, yet distinctive (naupaka kahakai and naupaka.) Their love is symbolized by the similarity of the blossoms, but sadly the two are destined to live apart forever.

Ala Moana Boulevard

Artist: Matthew James

Matthew James is an artist from Manoa Valley. He has exhibited in Italy, Iceland, Miami, Manila, New York City, Honolulu and Paris and has worked with high profile clientele. His innovative resin painting “Pa‘akai”, which faces Ala Moana Boulevard, introduces the element of salt into the resin, paying tribute to the area of Kakaʻako which was once home to many salt fields. The art piece explores salt as an agent of change, reacting with copper elements in the painting and interacting with the salty breeze of the ocean. The artwork strives to reflect the transforming landscape of Our Kaka‘ako as a piece which only time and erosion will ultimately complete — a unique piece for a unique place such as SALT.

Second Level

“Hungry Ear” Mural
Artist: Gavin Murai

In 2020, Hungry Ear Records added a colorful mural to SALT at Our Kaka‘ako. The eye-catching piece is painted by local artist Gavin Murai, who is associated with the Pow! Wow! collective. Murai was asked to take inspiration from the general design of De La Soul’s classic 1989 album, 3 Feet High and Rising. The mural, with its bright yellow background and colorful flowers, is an undeniable nod to the memorable album cover. This mural is a striking addition to SALT at Our Kaka‘ako’s artwork.

In late 2016, while Hungry Ear was in the process of moving to SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, its owners had a new logo designed by Magdy Rizk, a Professor of Graphic Design at California State University, Northridge. The owners wanted their new Hungry Ear logo design to reflect classic logos from the Hawaiian Music Renaissance of the 1970s, including from groups such as Olomana and Booga Booga. Hungry Ear wanted a breezy, summery, retro design that would look good on merchandise and walls. The Hungry Ear logo and mural achieve these goals and more, at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako.