The art world and Hawai'i lost an amazing artist and much-loved native son. Herb Kawainui Kane, died on March 8, 2011. He was born on June 21, 1928. He was three months short of being 83 when he passed away.
"If my work contributes to our comprehension of Hawai'i's past, that will ultimately become the greatest reward." (Herb Kawainui Kane)
As some of you may remember, I have featured some of Mr. Kane's work here on my blog. I subscribe to updates from Mr. Kane's website and usually save updates to review at a more leisurely time. I feel I must explain why I'm writing of his passing in August and not more timely, since it has been about five months since his passing. Today, I thought I would do another posting on his art work, only to find that one of the updates I had saved was about his passing. Needless to say, I was surprised - sadly so. Growing up in Hawai'i and enjoying art as much as I do, Herb Kane was a major inspiration. I would not only study his art for the skill involved, but the stories behind his work reminded me of stories of old Hawai'i I had heard as a child from my grandmother. His paintings and the associated stories taught me much about the myths and legends of my people.
Here is a few of his pieces. Beautiful stuff.
The discovery of Hawai'i. These Polynesian travelers crossed hundreds of miles of open sea in search for habitable lands. On one of those journeys, Hawai'i was discovered. Legend tells of seeing the fires and explosions from the volcano, which struck fear into the hearts of the newcomers.
The Fisherman. He wears a ti leaf rain cape and holds a yellow find tuna (ahi). A favorite pearl shell lure with a bone hook is carried around his neck.
Serenade. My life growing up was filled with music and dance. It was part of the lifestyle.
Thank you Mr. Kane for the beauty and pride you have infused into the Hawaiian culture. Rest in peace.