Checking Out the Street Art on Oahu

March 31 2020, 4:07pm

As a huge fan of street art, I’ve made it a point to check out the local art scene in places like Vancouver and Taiwan. Recently, I saw what Honolulu had to offer on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.

The epicenter for this type of art is the Kakaako (Kaka’ako) neighborhood located about a mile away from the northwest corner of Waikiki, past the Ala Moana Center. What was once an area used by native Hawaiians for salt making, agricultural farming, and burial, is now one of the most hipster areas on Oahu.

From Asian motifs to tropical flowers, the art did not disappoint. Here’s a selection of some of the art I saw:

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I have a thing for Halloween and sea life, so this one spoke to me. Not sure why it says “Charles” though.

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Sunglasses are a great idea if the sun is out. The buildings can block some of the cool breeze making it feel even hotter out.

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A penguin happy to see the sun.

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How would you caption this?

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I would have to agree that this alpaca is boss.

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Looked seeing this comic-style mural of a woman taking to the beach…

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…because nothing is wrong with a little self care.

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Bold colors and sharp lines—I love this one!

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M-Eye-C-K-E-Y

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Someone didn’t feed these pandas enough bamboo. They look super grumpy.

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Oh, brother. Got to love the Hannya mask.

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I wonder what animal or beast this is supposed to be.

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Stickers are such a fascinating way of self expression.

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Not sure what the correct response would be. Maybe, “doingit?”

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Art is sometimes hard to explain.

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Love how this artist made use a corner to showcase Spiderman and Captain America.

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There’s so much going on here, but I definitely see a few things I grew up with.

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Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make a huge statement.

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Anyone know what the 「ビビビッ」 (bi bi bi) might be about?

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Another weird but cool mural. I love how the windows were turned into futuristic eyewear.

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Sometimes, it’s not about what you add, but what you take away.

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I wonder what cool adventures these kids will go on.

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Love the integration of 2D space with 3D space here.

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There’s a story here. I wonder what it is.

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This was probably one of the more chaotic pieces.

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The calligraphy used in this mural is on point.

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Looks like a relaxing office building to work in.

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There’s something oddly intriguing about the contrasting level of detail in this mural.

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Jazz Mom, Stay Jazz.

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Close-up of a koi perhaps?

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This panda looks like it’s plotting how to take down the wall next door.

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I feel like I’ve seen these characters before.

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It’s crazy how so much emotion can come from a single eye.

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Magneto doing his metal thing.

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This one kind of reminds me of our former first lady.

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Not sure why Buddha looks like he’s about to be attacked by spray paint.

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What a juicy hibiscus flower.

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This was probably one of the more lighthearted pieces of street art that I saw. Not surprisingly, I also saw this piece being used on the sides of buses in Waikiki.

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Much of this art is easily accessible, though you may have to backtrack to the main road to continue seeing more art.

My walking tour started off in front of the new SALT complex. From here I walked in a windy loop south, going around Mother Waldron Park, and ending back at SALT. The whole walk took about an hour and a half.

The art was well done, but as we started the walk in the mid-afternoon, it was hot. I would definitely recommend bringing some water if you’re planning on checking out the street art in Kakaako during a sunny day.

SALT At Our Kakaako

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