“The self is something one creates within the realm of their own reality, and with the power of imagination, the 'self' can manifest into limitless possibilities.
Creativity is the Art of Life. “… Ted Visaya
To be dedicated to the arts, I believe one must be free to be creative. Free from stress and negative outside influences, free to express oneself without persecution. Freedom to think and say whatever the fuck they want without apology.
Bohemian: An individual looked upon in society as strange and different. Bohemians care very little for money; some stay secluded by spending their lives creating art, music, and literature. Imagination is the mainstay of a Bohemian's frame of mind. Creativity surpassing the last creative thought is progress. Bohemians are known for being innovative in achieving creativity outside the box—a literary-artistic gypsy.
We all live in a Matrix movie world without even knowing it. Contemplating the world economy, it's obvious we are slaves to the system. Housing is too expensive, and inflation is on the rise. We all bought into the 40-40 system, working forty hours a week for forty years and then retiring and dying. I remember I listened to a lecture; I believe it was a TED-Talk, from a professor showing the audience a jar filled with marbles. He explained that as life goes on, we keep filling the jar with working marbles; before we know it, it's filled to the top with no room to fit living marbles. You get to the point after that 40-year working mark and wonder what happened to my life? You have to make room for the living marbles, or you will regret spending the rest of your life living to work instead of working to live.
There is no way out, we dug this hole for all of us, and it is only up to us to dig our way out and live. At my age now, I turn my focus to the arts. The arts give me purpose and direction, so I spend much time journaling, painting, singing, and practicing acting. Still, if there is something I can share with the younger generation as a warning, I would tell them, "Enjoy life as much as you can now, get out and do things, and use your weekends wisely. Sure, we all have to work but enjoy life as much as possible while working. Plan to take time off and travel around the world. Don't be in a hurry to start a family. There’s plenty of time for that later, so plan carefully and intelligently. Find an ocean and watch the sun go down on the horizon. Take a deep breath and slowly breath it through your mouth and relax as the sky turns into crimson red, orange, and purple colors, then sigh, and find your Aloha." ......... the Honolulu Bohemian
My thoughts have changed in my elder years, shaped by experiences in life that affected my psyche forever. Rejection, humility, shame, betrayal, and embarrassment left me with a bad taste and a sense of finding my self-expression to be understood and give meaning to my life before I feel like hurting someone really bad. Love, happiness, and self-esteem have given me the will to move on to find a better way and stay on the clean side of things.
Escaping the fast-paced, high-tech environment of Silicon Valley where stress and depression almost killed me, I ran away to the Honolulu Arts District in search of a new beginning.
I've been humbled by someone who had everything, trying to be something I was not—trying to fit in a world where I didn't belong. I was living a dream that turned into a nightmare. Lost everything, then regained it, then lost it again. I didn't care anymore. I was tired. I needed to find another way or go crazy.
I realize now that I need to find my people, my tribe, those who understand me and to whom I can relate—those without prejudice, with ethics and principles similar to mine. I need to find other artists like me. I came to find the meaning of Aloha, and maybe there, I will find my answers to save my sanity.
Imagine these new strange people came to your house for a visit and never left, then helped themselves to everything your home has to offer. You're in a thriving culture, and you welcomed them into your community. You share your hospitality, and your curiosity rises as they bring fine gifts from lands you have never heard of. You're overwhelmed and want to learn more.
But there's a hidden agenda. The real motive is to teach their ways and convert your way of life into theirs. As time passes, you hear their stories and adopt their culture and religion. Now you're easily manipulated into their authority of what is right and wrong. They try to suppress your language, rituals, and way of life.
Then you try to live like them and learn the world’s ways. You adapt to their politics, understanding that you're in a country of your own; it was even recognized and declared to the rest of the world. All of a sudden, things changed in the name of progress. Your reigning monarchy is under arrest, and your people are in disarray. You try to fight back to no avail against a superior military force. In despair, you relinquish your authority.
You now know and feel the sting of imperialism, and your generations will live in suppression. You are forced to live by their rules to survive.
I came to Hawaii to live and learn Aloha and found a culture in despair. Teaching love to those who have forsaken them as a sovereign, independent nation. The spirit of the people could not be broken. The spiritual energy of Aloha is too powerful to overcome, and I have come to love and respect the Native Hawaiian culture for all they have shared with the world.
I am torn as a veteran who loves his country but is also ashamed of what my country has done to the Hawaiian people. A culture that has shown me the meaning of Aloha. A beautiful culture that has shown the world how to love by living with the spirit of Aloha every day. I hope someday to be worthy of even being considered a Kama'aina (people of the land).
Purpose and direction have changed to a feeling of making a statement, leaving an impression to be understood for my life choices and spiritual convictions. Not necessarily for acceptance but rather to discover where I stand with the world and to leave something to be remembered. Something I can do for my children so they can understand me.
I'm an artist, a graphic expressionist, and a communications designer, exploring the world of art and design to find meaning, dedicating myself to the arts, and finding a better way of living. Are we living or just existing? What separates us from one another that we can call our own? Or do we settle for being normal like anyone else, another cog in the wheel of time to be forgotten as the wheel turns?
Ostracized because of my thinking outside of the box, opinions are the motivating factor in my pursuit to be understood. My way of thinking scared people that could not think outside their immediate social bubble and followed each other aimlessly to get ahead of one another, stepping on each other along the way. All this is in pursuit of their make-believe world created by their notion of a perfect life, living in a Matrix movie existence and not even knowing it, sponsored by the corporate moguls of society.
Just like the Beatle’s song 'Nowhere Man:
"He's a real nowhere man,
living in his nowhere land,
making all his nowhere plans for nobody.
He doesn’t have a point of view,
knows not where he's going to,
isn't he a bit like you and me?"
I choose to be different and break the bubble on a journey in search of meaning and self-expression to make sense of the world, understand, and expand my horizons. I want to find and share my raw expression through art that will intrigue the viewers to expand their horizons and learn how to think critically outside of the box.
If you think differently as I do and search for meaning in the world around you, then you're on the same path to finding truth and understanding. If creativity is your spiritual path, you are in motion with your intellectual curiosity. Suppose you find artistic self-expression through art. If you are intrigued, then come on board and journey with me through the hippest place in Honolulu, Chinatown, Kaka'ako, and the Honolulu Arts District, and together we will discover our self-expression. Dare to be creative.
I was in a Lyft car and had given the driver the address of where I was going, and he mentioned that that was the Chinatown-Honolulu Arts District. I had no idea I was moving to an arts district. I asked him about that, and he lit up and was happy to share a story as an avid photographer who was inspired by Kim Taylor Reese. He said that Kim Taylor Reese invited artists from around the world to Honolulu to help improve the neighborhood by painting murals on building walls. Artists local and internationally came to Honolulu to be a part of this art movement. There were no sponsors, so each artist had to go on their ticket; the results of this movement can be seen throughout the neighborhoods of Kaka'ako, downtown Honolulu, and Chinatown. This was surprisingly enlightening, and I became eager to join the movement and contribute to the arts district community.
Chinatown Artists Lofts: Overlooking a peaceful courtyard of tropical landscaping, the Lofts in the Mendonca Building are renovated and ready to rent. In conjunction with Ernest and JoDee Hunt, HAPA is pleased to announce the completed restoration of this 120-year-old historic building. One of the first buildings built after the infamous Chinatown fires devastated the downtown community at the turn of the century; the Mendonca Building was voted one of Honolulu Weekly's five favorite buildings and is a Honolulu treasure.
Chinatown Artists Lofts Mission Statement:To transform our community with the power of the arts and establish Honolulu's Chinatown as the "Creative Capital of the Pacific."
Riding a moped feels Bohemian. Like surfboards, shave ice, and spam musubi, the moped is just as iconic to Honolulu as ahi poke. The best way to get around Honolulu and Waikiki is by moped. It's my preferred mode of transportation over my car. It's cheap, easy to park, and economical on gas.
Make sure you get a heavy-duty lock and chain. Moped thefts are a common occurrence on the island. You can lock your moped in bike racks unless it's reserved for bikes only. There are many racks around town on the sidewalks provided by the city.
There's no helmet law but wearing helmets is highly encouraged. I don't have one, but I know I should get one. I wouldn’t say I like the idea of carrying one around, not unless there's a way to lock it up with the bike, I mean moped. Oh yeah, that reminds me, you can use the bike lane with your moped. Many moped riders use the streets and leave the bike lane to the peddling bikes, but when push comes to shove in heavy traffic, it's nice to know you can use the bike lane to pass up the cars on the side. Be careful, though; like motorcycles, auto drivers may not see you when turning and cutting you off. It's happened to me a few times, and the first thing that pops into my mind is that I should get a helmet.
You can't use the main highways with a moped, so it's good to have a car to go out of town, but if you live within the Honolulu city limits, I highly recommend getting a moped.
Jazz jam downstairs every weekend. Never a dull moment at the Chinatown Artist's Loft. Birth of the Honolulu Bohemian movement.
Surfing in Waikiki in October. Can't believe how warm the waters are in the winter months.