Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hawaiian Netmender - Ka Mea Ku`i `Upena

Hawaiian Netmender - Ka Mea Ku`i `Upena Hawaiian Netmender - Ka Mea Ku`i `Upena

Here's another blog post based around a couple of photos I took from a Honolulu city bus. I was riding back from downtown to my hotel, and we were at a traffic light at the busy intersection of King St. & Kapiolani Boulevard. (This is about a block past where I took my from-the-bus photos of Skygate, by the way.) The intersection forms a little triangle of land in the middle, and the triangle is landscaped as a sort of rock grotto with a statue and fountain. This is Hawaiian Netmender - Ka Mea Ku`i `Upena, which the city's Office of Culture and the Arts page describes thusly:

A Sculpture by Charles Watson. Seated figure of a male with a net draped across his outstretched legs. His arms extend over the net, as he is in the act of mending it. He holds a tool in his proper right hand. The figure sits on a natural boulder which is placed in a man-made pool. There are waterfalls behind the figure as part of a landscaped fountain. Located at the triangle park at King Street and Kapiolani Boulevard.

Watson (a local Hawaii sculptor) also created Tree, outside the Foster Botanical Garden, and several other public artworks around the city. Ka Mea Ku`i `Upena is about 15 years newer than Tree, and there's no obvious resemblance between the two. If I hadn't known, I wouldn't have guessed the connection.

The statue and surrounding park merited a stop on the state government's "Capitol District Public Art & Historic Places Walking Tour". It's kind of an odd combo, featuring several pivotal locations in Hawaiian history alongside (often fairly mundane) public art generally dating to the 1960s and 1970s. Although the more I think about it, that's pretty much exactly the kind of walking tour you'd come up with by stringing a bunch of my blog posts together. So it's probably bad mojo to snark about their guide too much.

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