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ハワイのアーティストにインタビュー! vol.8/キアヌ・ウィルソン(Keanu Wilson)『キアヌが描く、ハワイの自然の“美”の源泉とは?』


Interview with a Hawaiian Artist vol.8 / Keanu Wilson “What is the source of Hawaii's natural beauty in artworks that Keanu creates?”


今回紹介するアーティスト、キアヌ・ウィルソン(Keanu Wilson)の作品にはインスタグラムで初めて出会いました。その時に目にしたのは、エイをモチーフにつくられたピン(下写真)です。

I first encountered the work of Keanu Wilson, the artist featured here, on Instagram. At that time, I saw pins (photo below) made in the motif of a stingray.

"Hīhīmanu Pin Duos(エイのピンのデュオ)" from Instagram of Prowlanu


The stingray's graceful body was expressed using metal with countless minute dots applied to its surface, giving a mysterious sparkle.


I was intrigued and went to his Instagram and found that he also makes paintings.


Each of Keanu's paintings (see the photo at the top of this page) has a unique beauty with simple lines, subdued colors, and the right balance of simplicity and sophistication. The Hawaiian plants and animals depicted in his paintings are familiar to me, as if I have seen them somewhere before.


I really wanted to become a professional.

キアヌ・ウィルソン(Keanu Wilson)


Keanu currently lives on Hawaii island , the largest island of the Hawaiian Islands, but he was born on the East Coast of the United States, in Connecticut, located between New York and Boston.


Keanu's name means "cool or cold" or "temperature" in Hawaiian, and is named after the American actor Keanu Reeves. With a Hawaiian name, there is a sense of destiny in his moving his residence from the mainland to Hawaii.


Growing up, Keanu studied Kinesiology at Hilo campus of the University of Hawaii in Hawaii Island before beginning his career as an artist. he is a digital artist who uses digital tools such as iPad to create his works, but is self-taught in art.

"Light my Fire A(ライト・マイ・ファイア A)", an 8x10 version from Instagram of Prowlanu


He has been using the artist name "Prowlanu" since the beginning of his career.


"In the early days of my artistic journey, it was the alter ego under which I posted my creations on social media. Prowlanu = "PRO-Lanu," where the "PRO" resonates with that relentless pursuit of excellence. Back then, I might have felt like a bit of a newbie, but deep down, I was all about embracing the challenge of becoming a pro. We've all been there, right? Striving for greatness, even if perfection is a mirage."


As a result of his efforts to hone his natural talent, Keanu's work has gradually gained recognition. It also bears fruit as collaborations with Hawaiian companies and brands. In 2023, Keanu held his first solo exhibition in Oahu, Hawaii, which was a great success.


I want to draw only authentic Hawaiian flora and fauna.

"Lauaʻe in the wind(風の中のラウナエ)" from Instagram of Prowlanu


Keanu moved to Hawaii when he went to university, where he encountered and became fascinated by Hawaii's native plants and animals.


"I illustrate Native Hawaiian flora and fauna as a conscious effort to provide authentic portrayals of the indigenous species inhabiting Hawaiʻi. In the realm of tropical art, we frequently encounter depictions of coconut trees, monstera, and other introduced species. However, the species I choose to spotlight are not only extraordinary and unique but also often rare."


"Through my artwork, I aim to cast a spotlight on these remarkable beings, fostering awareness and shining a light on their significance in our ecosystem."


Environmental protection efforts are taking place all over the world, but Hawaii, with its spectacular natural environment, is a particularly environmentally conscious place. It is only natural that Keanu, who lives in Hawaii and uses its natural environment as a motif in his artwork, should have such a passion for the natural environment.


Keanu's minimalistic expression of the pure beauty of nature

"Paukaa, Hawaii(パウカア、ハワイ)" from Instagram of Prowlanu


When I asked Keanu about his process of creating "authentic images" of Hawaiian flora and fauna, he answered as below.


"Examining the significance of these motifs and unraveling what makes them special and distinctive is my approach. I dissect the motif into fundamental shapes and colors, reconstructing it through my unique point of view while staying true to the subject."


Indeed, the forms he creates are simplified, and he uses only one color in one place. In addition, he uses many earth tone and neutral colors in his paintings.


"These are the hues and tones I'm presently drawn to, perhaps mirroring my surroundings. Residing in a rural locale teeming with tropical plants and natural elements, I find the inherent beauty in these colors, crafted by nature itself. It's the allure of these natural elements that inspires their incorporation into my artistic endeavors."

ハラの木の前で手に持たれた、キアヌ・ウィルソンの作品「パイア ハラ」
"Paia Hala(パイア ハラ)" from Instagram of Prowlanu

"Paia Hala" from Instagram of Prowlanu


The Puna district on the east coast of Hawaii Island, where Keanu lives, is an area of dynamic nature stretching from Mount Kilauea, one of Hawaii's most famous volcanoes, to the ocean. It is a place where one can see many wild, jet-black lava lands and untouched jungles. The abundance of nature seems to have greatly inspires artist Keanu's creativity.


Keanu's thoughts entrusted to the sun and moon in his works

"ʻIliahi(イリアヒ)" from Instagram of Prowlanu


Another characteristic of Keanu's paintings is that the sun and moon are often depicted along with flowers and birds.


"Incorporating sunmoons into my artwork has evolved into a distinctive hallmark of my artistic style. I employ them to capture attention within a piece while staying true to my personal essence in my prints."


"Each instance can be interpreted as either a sun or a moon, leading me to affectionately refer to them as my "sunmoons."

"Lehua Dreams(レフア・ドリームス)" from Instagram of Prowlanu


The "sunmoon" which may also represents Keanu himself, is depicted as if it were quietly perched on a natural Hawaiian object, gazing at it, illuminating it. I feel that the "sun- moon" is the key to the appreciation of Keanu's works.



His never-ending creative challenge

"ʻĒkaha Braile(エカハ・ブレイル)" from website of Prowlanu

最後に、キアヌが個人的に気に入っているという『ʻĒkaha Braile(エカハ・ブレイル)』という作品(上写真)についてご紹介しましょう。

Finally, I would like to introduce a work called ʻĒkaha Braile (pictured above), which Keanu says is a personal favorite of his.

ʻĒkahaは、日本語で「シマオオタニワタリ」、英語ではbird's nest fern(鳥の巣のシダ)と呼ばれるシダで、絵のモチーフとなったハワイの植物の名前です。

ʻĒkaha is the name of the Hawaiian plant that was the motif for the painting, a fern called "shima-ootani-watari" in Japanese and "bird's nest fern" in English.


Braile means "Ten-ji" in Japanese, and as this word implies, the grains you see on the fern are Braille.


Keanu told me about his intentions for this unique work of art as below.


"Incorporating braille into my artwork, particularly in the "ʻēkaha Braille" piece, introduces a layer of representation. While it's commonly asserted that art is primarily visual, its essence extends beyond that perception. Art has the power to be experienced and cherished through all the senses. The integration of braille not only enhances the visual appeal of the piece but also contributes to the concept of inclusion, emphasizing that art transcends the boundaries of mere visual observation."


In addition to paintings, Keanu also creates apparel works such as bandanas, pareos, bags and craft works such as pins.

A market bag(買い物バッグ) designed by Prowlanu


"I am presently immersed in the process of crafting my first self-published coloring book. This compilation will feature a curated selection of my artistic endeavors from over the years, accompanied by a collection of new pieces meticulously crafted for this particular project."


This coloring book will be a good introduction to Keanu's work for younger children. Readers will also be able to participate in Keanu's art through the process of coloring, and new works of art will be created through the collaboration between readers and Keanu.


I can't wait to see how his art will further expand and evolve in the future.


◆Artist's information◆

・ website(online shop)





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