painter | muralist
Kai'ili Kaulukukui was born on the Big Island of Hawaii in September of 1981. As a young child, Kai had a great interest in creating art and began drawing at a very young age inspired by Hawaii’s natural beauty, rich native culture, abundant ocean life, and of course, cartoons and comic books. An adolescence spent chasing the perceived contemporary art scene of the '80s, and '90s led to a stint in graffiti, and the desire to paint on walls and eventually mural painting. A classically trained oil painter, Kai studied fine art at Windward Community College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Today, he is based out of his private studio in Puna, and Lana Lane Studios in Kaka’ako, Honolulu. Kai holds a position as Ground Operations Manager for the 'Seawalls: Artists for Oceans’ event, an international mural festival by PangeaSeed Foundation, a marine conservation organization that utilizes artivism (art+activism) to inspire ocean stewardship.
The work Kai has been producing recently, is very much based on fantasy and inspired by diving and being in the ocean with a variety of sea life. The use of drips is very prevalent and placed purposefully to give a sense of wonder in the juxtaposition between the vertical lines, causing a still feeling, and the flowing movement of the subject. Kai draws often and enjoys painting in watercolor, acrylic, aerosol and oil. As a muralist, his work can be seen in Hawai’i, California, St. Croix USVI, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Nepal, China, and Hungary.