Malama Ko Aloha
A personal and family portrait
Collaboration: Ken Kennell, Bob Getzen, Kaleo Padilla
Oil on apple plywood cubes
Brass, mirror and glass pedestal
This three dimensional interactive painting is composed of eight 12” cubes that comprise a “master” cube that is two feet dimensionally. Around the six sides of the master cube are six portraits of Keola, in muted semi-monochromatic colors, (with the exception of the side with images from the most recent sitting), these date from the seventies to the present. As you rotate these cubes there are an additional 18 portraits of Keola that are revealed on these same six sides. As the cube is manipulated to arrange the portraits on the outside, images begin to emerge that invite the viewer to explore and re-arrange the cubes to reveal imagery of six generations of Beamer ancestors and living family, rendered in vivid full colors. There are of 41 different paintings, in total featuring 50 images of Keola and family.
Born into a legacy of Hawaiian culture through Music, in a family, whose roots recall at least 500 years of life in Hawaii, our subject, Keola Maikalani Breckenridge Beamer has accepted the challenge and has continued to craft and express the kuliana passed on to him by his Kupuna, by living Malama Ko Aloha, or, to spread of the spirit of aloha. This painting attempts to honor, not only Keola, truly, a living treasure, but to also pay respect to his Kupuna and family, spanning six generations. Here are images from sittings with Keola in 2005 and 2011 as well as ancestorial images gleaned from the family photo archives, to sincerely present a picture of the total man. Included in this family portrait, are Great-great Grandmother, Isabella Hale’ala Ka’ili Miller Desha; Charles Francis Ho’olulu Siemson, Keola’s biological Great Grandfather who died young from tuberculosis; Great grandmother Helen Desha Beamer, composer of a songbook of Hawaiian classics, and her husband, Peter Carl Beamer; Grandmother and Grandfather, Louise Leiomalama Walker Beamer and Francis Keali’iho’opono Beamer, or Dambie and Papa Beamer, popular performers, singers and dancers; Uncle Cleighton Keola Beamer, a dancer, singer and performer; Winona Kapuailohiamanonokalani Desha Beamer, or Auntie Nona as all knew her, a noted chanter, composer, author, dancer and powerful advocate for Hawaiian Culture;Victoria Moanalani Beamer, beloved wife and Kumu Hula; Keola’s brother, Brenton Kaponomalamalani Beamer, the other half of the musical duo, early in Keola’s career, when they were “Hawaii’s youngest legends” ; Nephew Brenton Kamanamaikalani Beamer and his wife and their daughter, Laua’e Polinahe Murphy Beamer and Halialoha Kawahinekapuanolani Kapuailohiamanonokalani Leipuanaala Beamer.
This Art piece, although, interactive, is not meant to be manipulated by the viewing public in an exhibition, but by the owner(s) in its final resting place.
Note: During construction of the cubes, a ti leaf was placed inside of each cube as well as a Hawaiian Olelo written in permanent pigment on the inside walls of each cube…
1. Ua ola loko I ke aloha
Love gives Life within
Love is imperative to ones mental and physical welfare.
2. Ua pa’a ka houpo
The Diaphragm is made firm
Hunger is gone and the stomach is filled.
3. Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono
The life of the Land is preserved in righteousness.
4. Ua ola no i ka pane a ke aloha.
There is life in kindly reply.
Though one may have no gift to offer a friend, a kind word or a friendly greeting is just as important.
5. Ua pae i kula
The work is all done.
6. Ua pa’i a pa’i ma ka hana.
Equals in working.
7. Na waimaka o ka lani.
The tears of heaven.
Rain at someone’s death or during his funeral is declared to be the affectionate tears of the gods, who weep in sympathy with the mourners.
8. I ulu no ka lala i ke kumu.
The branches grow because of the trunk.
Without our ancestors we would not be here.