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.
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.
%shareLinks-quote="I began expanding the idea and pushing the limits of working with nature through the use of forests, waterfalls, and even icebergs." type="quote" author="Hula"%
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."