Artist and Hawaii-native Sean Yoro, better known as Hula, is a master of repurposing abandoned, desolate spaces to create hyperrealist paintings of alluring model-esque women. He is famous for painting while perched atop a SUP (stand up paddle board), often paddling out with his paints to the installation sites. Daring locations have included the concrete walls flanking a shipyard and sunken ships. Most recently, Hula has ventured to an undisclosed location on land to create a large-scale mural called hahai, which translates to “to follow.”
“I always enjoy seeing the new adjectives for my work which surprisingly eerie and haunting come up quite often,” hula said in an interview with Monster Children. Indeed, the juxtaposition between the starkly real subject on the wall and the abandoned, desolate space that looms behind hahai produces that effect.
The standout interpretation of the piece is that one must “follow their heart.” By using architectural space, hula portrays the heart as vast, cavernous space. This connotes emptiness, but also its capacity to be filled. The heart has its cavities, but it is also a series of pathways that take time and patience to decipher.
“I was inspired by the common phrase ‘follow your heart,’” Hula said to Design Boom. “As cliché as it is, the phrase has influenced the paths I’ve taken throughout my life and I realized with all the mistakes I’ve made along the way, the only ones I don’t regret are the ones I stayed true to my passions and listened to my heart.”
If you’ve never seen hula’s work before, it’s worth a quick scroll through. The attractive women depicted amongst the natural beauty of nature make for a really pleasing image. While painting a hot chic is not exactly a new concept, I’m willing to guess few artists can say they’ve done so while perched on a paddle board. Check out Hula’s instagram to keep up with his most recent installations.
All photos courtesy of the artist’s website.