Mathew Kaopio began his career as a mouth-brush artist and writer after going through rehabilitation for a diving accident in 1994, which left him a quadriplegic.

His work marries the Hawaiian tradition of story-telling with the modern art form of painting. His paintings reflect his appreciation of the Hawaiian culture and the natural beauty he sees everywhere in the islands. The stories accompanying the artwork were inspired by family legends told to him when he was a young boy by his grandmother Pearl.

Some of the visual images and stories are symbolic of his recovery, such as “Hi’iaka Revives Lohiau” which to him represents his struggle to survive after suffering such a traumatic experience at a young age.


Author: Matthew Kaopio