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Street Art’s Tropical Spray into Tahiti: ONO’U Murals Wow

Street Art’s Tropical Spray into Tahiti: ONO’U Murals Wow

The Completed Murals from Okuda, Felipe Pantone, Astro, FinDAC, MrZL & Kalouf


“I think it’s the island that inspired me to do the painting,” Okuda says of this brand new surrealist dream on a four story wall here in Tahiti.

Okuda. Process shot. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With multi-colored geometric planes that form her bare shoulders, the Spanish artist says this architectural woman holding a piece of fruit is based on a painting by another famous European artist, the French post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin, who lived here in French Polynesia the 1890s.

It is a radical yet reassuring interpretation of a contemporary painter who counts surrealism painters like Dali, Ernst, and Magritte as favorites over the more romantic Impressionists. Aside from some of the rich hues and compositional elements, Okuda’s newer painting is a stunning departure from the revered original.

Akimbo looking out with Okuda on the lift. Process shot. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Okuda’s wall is one of five large new murals at ONO’U, the Tahitian mural festival now in its fourth year that has invited international Street Artists to this neighborhood in Papeete to paint and to get to know the locals, many of whom work in the tourist industry, sell produce, crafts, and jewelry.

Okuda, who has become a world traveler of late and a name that is sure to grow in the Contemporary Art field, says memories of his days playing soccer in the neighborhood as a boy with his brother while their parents worked at a restaurant keep him aware of the struggles of the workers whom he runs into. However fantastic the interpretation of a figure or form, he says that his works are often improvised in the moment and he wants them to come from the heart. In this case he used Gauguin’s original as his sketch but felt free to play with size and proportion of the figures and elements in the background.

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I think the most important aspect of my work is to change the place in a more positive way and I hope all of the Papeete community can feel it, you know?” he says on a hot muggy afternoon where the breeze from the nearby marina doesn’t seem to come far in shore.

“I remember that a teacher said to us one day when he was watching me paint that this wall is so important for the kids because they will be affected by my positivity,” Okuda says. “You can’t imagine how much you can change kids lives with art – and it is so important.  Maybe the adults are too distracted to see it and to feel it but the kids are very receptive.”

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The week-long festival included a museum installation, projection mapping, a block party, and even a fashion show that included local beauties modeling gowns painted by graffiti writers like Astro, Phat1, Abuz, Marko93, Lady Diva, Rival, Soten and Inkie.

Here we give you a few of the exceptionally strong pieces from the tight and high quality curation of  ONO’U 2017;  including works from Okuda, Felipe Pantone, Astro, FinDAC, Kalouf, MrZL, and Inkie on a box truck. Our thanks to all the volunteers and to the ONO’U Festival organizers Sarah Roopinia and Jean Ozonder.

Paul Gauguin 128

Paul Gauguin. Where Are You Going?, or Woman Holding a Fruit . 1893. Current location: The Hermitage Museum. Russia.

Okuda. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ASTRO. Process shot. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ASTRO. Process shot. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ASTRO. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ASTRO. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Felipe Pantone. Process shot. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Felipe Pantone. Process shot. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Felipe Pantone. Detail. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Felipe Pantone. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

FinDAC. Process shot. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FinDAC. Process shot. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FinDAC. Process shot. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FinDAC. Process shot. ONO’U Tahiti 2017.  Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

FinDAC. Detail.. ONO’U Tahiti 2017.  Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © FinDAC)

FinDAC. ONO’U Tahiti 2017.  Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © FinDAC)

Kalouf and MrZL collaboration. Detail. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This mural was conceived of as an animated projection mapping installation which we arrived a day late for.  There is supposed to be a video for the event and animated chameleon coming soon.

Kalouf and MrZL collaboration. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Inkie. The festival wouldn’t be complete without a painted box truck. ONO’U Tahiti 2017.  Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Inkie. The festival wouldn’t be complete without a painted box truck. ONO’U Tahiti 2017.  Papeete, French Polynesia. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Marko93 & MrZL Video Mapping Collaboration

Using a tracked central element as their starting point, French aerosol artist Marko93 and French digital mapping artist MrZL collaborated on this installation piece that debuted last week at the Tahiti Museum of Street Art.

 


This article is also published on The Huffington Post

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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.08.17 ONO’U Tahiti Special

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.08.17 ONO’U Tahiti Special


BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

“Flying Omaomao
Spirit of Tahiti
Bird of my homeland
Messenger of love from the night
Messenger of peace from the light.”

And so the summary of the genteel and warm Tahitian week we have just spent here for the ONO’U Festival. The words above from a local proverb that appear on the wall of Phat1 and Lady Diva’s newest painting inside the small museum here. The message has been peace, in words and deeds.

And yet we know that the War Machine is threatened once again as our overcompensating low-information leaders are ready to start a war somewhere, anywhere, out of hubris and spurious self esteem. Killing has become profitable, regardless of what rationale is offered. To them, profit is what matters most. Perhaps that is why it is most poignant for us to look for a messenger of peace from the light today.

Interestingly on an island full of natural beauty, we learn that many of the works that are made here on the street give special honors to the natural world, with fears for the future of the planet, disappearing species, the poisoning of the air, water, soil, food supply.

According to Sarah Roopinia, who began this festival four years ago here in Papeete, most of the 80 or so international and local Street Artists who are invited here have gravitated to the natural world in their work. It was also interesting to learn that one of the biggest names on the graffiti scene here is an environmental consultant; a friend of the fern and the fauna and the marine life. With no direction on themes for the museum show the artists chose their own. Are we listening?

We decided for Images of the Week to take you inside the museum show at ONO’U for Friday night’s opening, to show you the new installations on display because collectively they speak to matters that typically transcend street culture as we know it – and that is worth considering.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Charles & Janine Williams (Phat1 & Lady Diva), Kalouf, Marko93, MrZL, Romain Lardanchet, and Soten.

Top image: Romain Lardanchet . Kalouf collaboration.  Museum installation. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Romain Lardanchet . Kalouf collaboration.  Museum installation. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

All week we watched sculptor Romain Lardanchet as he constructed this three dimensional fish while sitting on an overturned plastic bucket on the sidewalk outside the museum. Using sheets of wire mesh, a glue gun, aerosol can tops, and two clear plastic half-spheres, he created this surreal vision popping through the concrete, illuminated from within.

Phat1 and Lady Diva (Charles & Janine Williams).  Museum installation. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A special installation by Māori graffiti artists Charles and Janine Williams uses two life stages of the OMAOMAO bird to speak to the changes that life takes. Charles tells us “the red link is the messenger of love and the bird is holding onto love in the middle of Tahiti”. Schooled by local orinthologists, the Williams painted from a gentlemen’s photographs of the bird. During the opening the an audio recording of the birds’ songs was playing in the room as well. To the left is a proverb provided by local wise people – words that tie the spiritual message of the work together beautifully.

Charles & Janine Williams.  Museum installation. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Charles & Janine Williams.  Museum installation. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soten gifts the lobby.  Museum installation. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Soten.  Museum installation. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Marko93 & MrZL – a stunning aerosol/video mapping collaboration. Museum installation. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo) The small video below shows the work in progress. Later on we’ll bring you the entire run of the video mapping.

 

 

Martha Cooper and Selina Miles with the iconic head dress attending the closing block party. ONO’U Tahiti 2017. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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