Native Hawaiian Artist Displays His Work On Campus


A student poses with Solomon Enos after a discussion regarding his newest art piece.

Speaking on his culturally progressive art piece in Midkiff, Solomon Enos described the kaona or hidden meaning behind “A Battle of Narratives ” on campus last month.

English teachers across the highschool campus worked together to invite Enos to dicuss his artwork on September 15, during the lunch and homeroom blocks.

With an audience full of english students, Enos began his speech with a story about where he’s from, Waiʻanae, O’ahu. Growing up in a community filled with “cultural amnesia”, Enos learned the importance of being actively involved in his hawaiian heritage at a young age. Encouraging students to participate in culturally important activities, such as going to work in the loʻi and practicing traditional farming, Enos advocates for Hawaiian activism through hands on experience, and of course, art.

Enos’s art piece portrays a frightfully graphic battle scene, with detailed avatars and landscape, ultimately depicting Hawaiʻi from the time period of the 1890s – 1930s. Enos describes this period as a time of cultural metamorphous: a period of time when Hawaiʻi underwent drastic changes to keep up with the American culture. Teary eyed students listened intently when he described avatars representing historic events such as the overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani, the rapid industrialization of Hawaiian land, and the sudden population decrease because of foreign diseases.   

Hoping to encourage students to address the pain of the Hawaiian ancestry, Enos said he wants to “evolve the Hawaiian narrative” from something that’s painful into something that inspires others.

You can still visit his piece of artwork at MIdkiff up until the end of the year.