The student newspaper of Honolulu Community College

New campus mural tells history of campus neighborhood

By Kayleen Su’e
Ka La staff writer

If you’ve ever been relaxing outside the cafeteria underneath those tables with the big teal umbrellas, youʻve probably noticed HonCCʻs newest mural on the other side of the courtyard.
“The inspiration of the mural is the moʻolelo of this land, or in English, sort of like the history or the story surrounding this land that HCC sits on,” said Faith Kahale Saito, a counselor working in the Hui ʻŌiwi Hawaiian Center, who was also in charge of spearheading this project.

The new mural was created in collaboration with KVIBE, a program of Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, a non-profit organization whoʻs aim is to provide health care services to Kalihi Valley’s low-income, Asian and Pacific Island immigrant population.

“There’s this event called the Annual Kalihi Ahupuaʻa Bike Ride where kids ride their bikes from Hoʻoulu ʻAina down to Sand Island. Along the way, they stop in front of three murals and get a chance to the the learn the moʻolelo of that land. With the addition of the new mural, we’re proud to say that HCC will be one of these stops and we’ll get to talk story them and share our moʻolelo,” Kahale said.

This year’s ride will be held on June 22.

The mural was created by artist MK Davis, a member  of 808urban, an artist collective based  in Honolulu.

Davis enlisted a lot of campus help when he applied the first layers of paint,  using something called the manalima method.

“The manalima method is when everybody dips their hands in paint and places it against the wall, where the murals supposed to be. It starts off as the foundation of the mural and we do it because it’s like putting your mana or energy into the painting. We had everyone from students, staff, even their kids, come and do it,” Kahele said.

Although the mural only took several weeks to complete, there was a lot of behind the scenes effort that went into just the preparation.

“Well, one of first things we had to get was clearance for the lift, the machine that carries Davis up to complete the top part of the painting. Then we made sure that Davis got everything right, from the loʻi that used to grow here, to the streams that flowed through them. The blueprints for the mural went though several revisions and had to have everyoneʻs [Hui ʻŌiwi staff] approval from those of us here at the Hawaiian Center, before we okayʻd it and sent it back out to the artist. We wanted everything to be as accurate as possible, and I think he did a wonderful job depicting that.”

Kahaleʻs final words were what she hopes students take away from this mural:

“Honestly, I’m not expecting students to feel a certain way when looking at it. I just wanted to make sure the mural represented the moʻolelo of this land accurately. If somehow this inspires you to get to know more about this land, then even better.”

Some students had a few thoughts they wanted to share regarding the mural.

“I like it,” Simone Kaneshiro said. “It really brightens the place up and itʻs nice to look at.”

“Finally, they made this place a little better!” Andrew Choi joked.






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