Artist creates astonishing murals in seemingly inaccessible locations

How do you view the world?
What's the message you want to send?
Would it spark a discussion?
Could it lead to change?

Self-taught artist Sean Yoro chooses to answer those questions through his art. Blank canvases in seemingly inaccessible locations are transformed into murals, each with a different idea behind it, but none needing words to explain the message they convey -- perception is funny like that.

Yoro works under the artist name, Hula. He grew up in Hawaii and taught himself how to paint realistically when he moved to New York at the age of 21. What makes Hula's art unique, besides its captivating hyperrealism, is where it is located and the custom tools he uses. 

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Artist creates semi-submerged murals
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Artist creates semi-submerged murals

HO’I MAI

After stumbling upon this old sunken ship, Hula was inspired by the way the tide crept in and out daily. This routine either had the boat emerging from or sinking back into the water. Ho’i Mai is literally translated to ‘Come Back’

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

HO’I MAI

After stumbling upon this old sunken ship, Hula was inspired by the way the tide crept in and out daily. This routine either had the boat emerging from or sinking back into the water. Ho’i Mai is literally translated to ‘Come Back’

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

HO’I MAI

After stumbling upon this old sunken ship, Hula was inspired by the way the tide crept in and out daily. This routine either had the boat emerging from or sinking back into the water. Ho’i Mai is literally translated to ‘Come Back’

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

HO’I MAI

After stumbling upon this old sunken ship, Hula was inspired by the way the tide crept in and out daily. This routine either had the boat emerging from or sinking back into the water. Ho’i Mai is literally translated to ‘Come Back’

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“IMUA”

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“IMUA”

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“IMUA”

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

HINA

The goddess of fishermen.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

HINA

The goddess of fishermen.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

LEWA

Painted on abandoned shipping docks

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

LEWA

Painted on abandoned shipping docks

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

LEWA

Painted on abandoned shipping docks

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

Pūliki

To embrace. Humanity’s need to embrace and protect mother nature has never been greater. Temporary mural done in a remote forest on fire damaged trees using natural chalk pigment which washes away with water.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

Pūliki

To embrace. Humanity’s need to embrace and protect mother nature has never been greater. Temporary mural done in a remote forest on fire damaged trees using natural chalk pigment which washes away with water.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

LUANA 

Mural painted for Pow!Wow! Long Beach 2016 under the Queensway Bridge in Long Beach, CA

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

LUANA 

Mural painted for Pow!Wow! Long Beach 2016 under the Queensway Bridge in Long Beach, CA

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

Truths

Inspired by self doubt. Limitations live only in our minds.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“KU’ULEI”

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“KU’ULEI”

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“KU’ULEI”

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

‘Ōwena

Mural painted with glowing paint in forest where it is only visible at night. Inspired by the beauty of fireflies.

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper” – W.B. Yeats

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

Maka’u

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

Maka’u

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

Maka’u

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“MALIHINI” 

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“MALIHINI” 

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“MALIHINI” 

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

A’o ‘Ana

Series of murals painted on a few of the thousands of icebergs freshly broken off from a nearby glacier. In the short time I was there, I witnessed the extreme melting rate first hand as the sound of ice cracking was a constant background noise while painting. Within a few weeks these murals will be forever gone, but for those who find them, I hope they ignite a sense of urgency, as they represent the millions of people in need of our help who are already being affected from the rising sea levels of climate change.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

A’o ‘Ana

Series of murals painted on a few of the thousands of icebergs freshly broken off from a nearby glacier. In the short time I was there, I witnessed the extreme melting rate first hand as the sound of ice cracking was a constant background noise while painting. Within a few weeks these murals will be forever gone, but for those who find them, I hope they ignite a sense of urgency, as they represent the millions of people in need of our help who are already being affected from the rising sea levels of climate change.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

A’o ‘Ana

Series of murals painted on a few of the thousands of icebergs freshly broken off from a nearby glacier. In the short time I was there, I witnessed the extreme melting rate first hand as the sound of ice cracking was a constant background noise while painting. Within a few weeks these murals will be forever gone, but for those who find them, I hope they ignite a sense of urgency, as they represent the millions of people in need of our help who are already being affected from the rising sea levels of climate change.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

A’o ‘Ana

Series of murals painted on a few of the thousands of icebergs freshly broken off from a nearby glacier. In the short time I was there, I witnessed the extreme melting rate first hand as the sound of ice cracking was a constant background noise while painting. Within a few weeks these murals will be forever gone, but for those who find them, I hope they ignite a sense of urgency, as they represent the millions of people in need of our help who are already being affected from the rising sea levels of climate change.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“PU’UWAI” 

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“PU’UWAI” 

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

Laule’a

Mural painted for Saks 5th Avenue in their store in Waikiki, Hawaii.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“HAHAI”

Literally translated “To Follow”. This mural is located along one of the many different pathways found in these old remains. The arched doorway opens up where the figures heart should be, symbolizing the journey into oneself.

“I was inspired by the common phrase ‘Follow Your Heart’. 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.” -Hula

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“HAHAI”

Literally translated “To Follow”. This mural is located along one of the many different pathways found in these old remains. The arched doorway opens up where the figures heart should be, symbolizing the journey into oneself.

“I was inspired by the common phrase ‘Follow Your Heart’. 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.” -Hula

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

MAHANA

Painted in Kakaʻako, Hawaii for Pow!Wow! 2016

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

MĀLAMA

“Mālama” – To care for, preserve, or protect. Inspired by growing up in Hawaii with the high values of respecting the land and places we call home.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

MĀLAMA

“Mālama” – To care for, preserve, or protect. Inspired by growing up in Hawaii with the high values of respecting the land and places we call home.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

MĀLAMA

“Mālama” – To care for, preserve, or protect. Inspired by growing up in Hawaii with the high values of respecting the land and places we call home.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“KAHU”

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“KAHU”

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

HEAU

Inspired by being confined to our own boxes. Painted for CANVAS Museum show in West Palm Beach, Florida USA.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

HEAU

Inspired by being confined to our own boxes. Painted for CANVAS Museum show in West Palm Beach, Florida USA.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

HULI

Painted in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand for Street Prints Art Festival.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

HULI

Painted in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand for Street Prints Art Festival.

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

ANDY IRONS

Tribute painting, in collaboration with Billabong, of the surf legend Andy Irons for the Irons family. Final hand print done by his son, Axel. Mural painted in North Shore, Oahu during the Billabong Pipe Masters 2016. 

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

Broken Color Series

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

Broken Color Series

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“HŌIKE” 

Oil paint on Wood

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“MAKA” 

Oil on wood

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“HO’OLOHE” 

Oil on wood

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

“HO’OLOHE” 

Oil on wood

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

Oil paint on wood

(Photo: Hula - Sean Yoro)

Final mural painted in Puglia, Italy 🇮🇹 Prints now available (shop.byhula.com)
Finished up this painting on an abandoned overgrown wall, part of a jungle inspired series
Traded my surfboard in for a scaffold to work larger for @canvaswpb in West Palm Beach. More updates soon, photo by my talented friend @halopigg
"A'o 'Ana II" Series of murals painted on a few of the thousands of icebergs freshly broken off from a nearby glacier. In the short time I was there, I witnessed the extreme melting rate first hand as the sound of ice cracking was a constant background noise while painting. Within a few weeks these murals will be gone, but for those who find them, I hope they ignite a sense of urgency, as they represent the millions of people in need of our help who are already being affected from the rising sea levels of Climate Change. See the full adventure at byhula.com
Having to time my brushstrokes with the wake 🌊 @powwowworldwide @jordan.ahern
Some prime empty walls
Feels good to be back on the water painting for such a unique project, more details coming soon.
Finishing a new piece in the studio using moss and paint. Inspired by my recent forest murals. Available for purchase, all inquires email sales@byhula.com - All originals and prints at shop.byhula.com
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Many of his murals are rooted in the notion of seeing things with a new perspective. "I like to challenge myself physically and mentally throughout the process of creating a piece, whether that has been venturing out into the extreme weather of the Arctic to using the different daily tide levels of a particular sea wall," Hula said.

The physical challenge he speaks of is the lengths he takes to reach his canvases. He scouts locations and often uses his paddleboard as not only a means of transportation but as a platform to hold all of his supplies over the three to five days he often spends onsite.

The results are stunningly realistic depictions of a woman on forgotten waterside walls that look as though they are rising from the depths of the sea. The water murals are stunning not only in beauty but in scale. Along with his signature water murals, Hula has also created work all around the world, including a portrait on the side of a sunken boat that emerges and disappears with the ebb and flow of the tide. 

Time is fleeting and not all artwork is meant to last forever. Hula recognizes that and embraces it when highlighting global issues in his work, including climate change and environmental issues. For his series of murals known as A’o ‘Ana, he painted on several icebergs that had broken off from a glacier.

Many of the pieces melted away, but Hula uses that to spread awareness, "... I have always felt the need to show the urgency in the time we have in order to fix the problems we are seeing now. I am fortunate to have my platform and voice, so I feel responsible to use the influence for a greater good and deeper messages." 

Hula has also ventured into a remote forest to create a temporary mural using chalk on a fire-damaged tree as a visual reminder to embrace and protect mother nature. He hopes to stay true to that message as his body of art continues to grow right along with his audience. Because as he simply put it, the one thing he hopes people gain from his work is, "... a more open mind and eyes to what is truly around them every day."  

A post shared by HULA | sean yoro (@the_hula) on

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