– by ChiChai@Empire –
Going to Pow! Wow! Hawaii! was a dream-come-true for Chris@Empire and I.
Written from a blog post on February 14, 2015 titled “A Stroll Down Pow! Wow!” ::
I spent my last year in college saving all my tip money and putting money aside every paycheck for Pow! Wow! Hawaii! 2014, an annual gathering of artists from around the world to bring color to Honolulu’s Kaka’ako district. However, a family emergency occurred so our road to Pow! Wow! had to be set aside.
A year later, here we are at Pow! Wow! Hawaii! and Hawaii itself exceeded my already high I-daydreamed-about-this-everyday expectations.
Like I said, attending Pow! Wow! Hawaii! 2015 was a dream come true. Throughout the years, since Pow! Wow! Hawaii!’s fruition, it has grown into an even bigger global movement called Pow! Wow! Worldwide! There are now Pow! Wow! Worldwide! festivals in Seoul, Taiwan, and more!
You know how I spent my last year of college saving to go to Hawaii? Like a twist of fate, the newest addition to the festival is in my college town: San Jose, California. Produced by @powwowworldwide @empire7studios @ungramr @mtca.co, Pow! Wow! San Jose! is here for the first time ever from October 22 to 29.
Day 2 – October 23
The city celebrated Pow! Wow! San Jose! with an inaugural ceremony at city hall. One of the organizers, Danny Thien Le gave an opening speech about the festival and how it is a gift to the people of San Jose.
Calpulli Tonalehqueh– an Azteca Mexica group– gave a blessing to the festival through song and dance
Pow! Wow! San Jose! received another blessing by Michael Andrews of the Anishinaabe and Paiute Tribes.
City councilman Raul Peralez spoke to the crowd as well. He shared his excitement that San Jose’s art and culture is gaining more recognition and is being celebrated.
Councilman Peralez then invited two community members to raise a Pow! Wow! San Jose! flag to show the city’s unity with the festival and its community.
What a great way to kick-off Pow! Wow!
Day 3 – October 24
Thanks to a friend of mine and Chris@Empire’s, @whittie_jay, Chris and I are on the photography team for Pow! Wow! San Jose! For my first day photographing murals, I headed over to Empire 7 Studios in Japantown to photograph the artists @griffinone @wispertfl @seanboyles38th
(I really want to take a stem of that Livistona palm tree home–it’s gorgeous!)
To be honest, I was hesitant at first to take photographs but then @wispertfl welcomed me as I approached @empire7studios. He gave me some stickers and told me about his process and his love for creating huge pieces such as this. Moments like these make me grateful for the world of Pow! Wow!
Day 3 – October 25
On October 25, Sam@Empire joined me to photograph more murals. Can we all appreciate how she styled the She is King tank and Making Waves cap?
As Sam and I made our way to another Pow! Wow! mural a few blocks away, we spotted an oldie (but always a goodie) by @nosego.
The sun began setting when we reached @roanvictor’s mural, giving a nice warmth to her cozy design. She told us that she’s painting that moment you need to get out of bed but your pets still want to cuddle you so you don’t.
When we began speaking to Roan, we squinted at each other and began talking about how we both look familiar. Once she told me that she owns the art store The Arsenal, that’s when it clicked! The first time I bought watercolor, I got it from her store and she was the one who actually helped me pick a palette out.
Within the same block, @jeffmeadows_arts was putting in work for his “kooky characters.”
All right! That’s it for now! Gotta get ready for the closing block party. More photos to come!