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2020 Surf Art Calendar - Brandon Nonaka

2020 Surf Art Calendar



By: Brandon Nonaka


From the artist: Before the invention of cameras and photography, Japanese fisherman invented Gyotaku to record trophy catches. These fishermen applied black ink directly to their fish and strategically rubbed special rice paper over the surface of the fish. By doing so, the impression of the fish was transferred onto the rice paper, like a stamp. Every scale, crease, and crevice of the fish was captured, making every Gyotaku entirely true to the size, shape and texture of the specimen.

My inspiration for this piece was the vibrant colors that Mahi-Mahi exhibit in the water. Seeing the bright greens and yellows circling up from the depths of crystal-clear Hawaiian waters is something that I have been so fortunate to experience first-hand and something that I would like to share with others.


I was introduced to Brandon Nonaka (Makai Impressions) through the artwork at Resin Gallery in Hermosa Beach, a local art studio and hub for art in the South Bay. The Mahi Mahi image I chose to use in the 2020 Surf Art Calendar was inspired by my trip to Tavaura last September, where a yet to be married couple from Hilo, Hawaii pulled in two great Mahi Mahi the day before sharing their wedding vows on the island in a private ceremony.


Brandon was born and raised in Hilo, a small and quiet town on the Big Island of Hawaii. From a young age he was exposed to the ocean by his friends and his father, who is an avid fisherman. Fishing, spear-diving and carious ocean activities were a normal part of life growing up in Hawaii.

His passion for the ocean and art merged when he was introduced to the art form know as Gyotaku. He saw it as the perfect way to preserve the life of the fish and ensure its’ memory would live on forever. His minimalistic approach to Gyotaku allows the raw print of the fish to “breathe” and become the focal point. There is no additional touch-up using pens or pencils, but rather just brushes and paint.

The word “Makai” comes from the Hawaiian language and translates to “by the sea”. Makai Impressions is an expression of the ocean through the lens of the Artist’s creative eye and the impact the ocean has had on his life.

www.makaiimpressions.com / IG @MAKAI_IMPRESSIONS


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