Kai’ili Kaulukukui was born in 1981 on the Big Island of Hawaii. As a young child, Kai discovered he had a great interest in creating, and began drawing as much as possible at an early age. Kai was and still is inspired by Hawaii’s natural beauty, abundant ocean life, and rich native culture.
Kai was a BFA candidate at the University of Hawaii Windward campus where he studied under Snowden Hodges who has a deep base in classical techniques of oil painting. Simultaneously, he was trained in oil by apprenticing with Dennis Morton. Later, he transferred to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he continued his painting education.
Kai currently works as a painter and muralist in Honolulu, out of Lana Lane Studios in Kaka’ako and more recently has been acting as the Ground Operations Manager at the international marine conservation organization, PangeaSeed Foundation.
He has been immersed in shark culture, imagery and information that has sparked his imagination. Based on his research, Kai’s works illustrate compromised sharks and aquatic environments. His paintings and murals tackle marine life, often sharks with a loose and flowing approach complemented with drips cascading down the work.
His art can be viewed publicly at the:
- Koseli School - Kathmandu, Nepal
- Delfin Ajandek - Gyongyos, Hungary
- Hua Quan Village - Yingtan, China
- Sea Walls Project - Churchill, Canada
- Hawaii Convention Center - Honolulu Hawaii
- Bishop Museum - Honolulu, Hawaii
- Hawaiian Electric Company - Honolulu, Hawaii
- San Jose Learning Center - San Jose, California
- Life West Chiropractic College - Hayward, California
- SeaWalls project with PangeaSeed - Cozumel, Mexico
- SeaWalls project with PangeaSeed - Napier, New Zealand
- Pow Wow! Hawaii participant artist since 2012