Tucked away in a neighborhood in Kahaluu (near Kaneohe) is the Tagami & Powell Gallery and Gardens.
The garden is full of exotic plants.
Hiker and blogger Nate Yuen at the Tagami & Powell Gallery and Garderns. Kahaluu, Oahu, Hawaii.
In the gallery, you’ll find the paintings of Hiroshi Tagami and Michael Powell, and the photography of fellow hiker and blogger Nate Yuen.
If you’ve ever researched a hike online, you’ve no doubt come across Nate’s blog, HawaiianForest.com. I’ve referenced Nate’s blog several times on my site as it’s been an invaluable resource for me to find info on hikes in Hawaii. Before I went on a backpacking trip to Waimanu (Big Island), Nate’s blog was the only place I could find photos and information on the secluded campsite.
Nate has been a member of the Hawaiian Trail & Mountain Club for over a decade now and hikes every weekend. He’s covered countless trails on Oahu and made several trips to the other islands to hike. And through hiking, he found a passion for photography.
Nate’s photography is different than most of the stuff you’ll see out there. It’s not just the typical mountain and ocean views you see on sites like … well, like mine. Nate focuses on the small things. On the trail, he has this uncanny ability to spot tiny animals, insects or plants that most people would hike right past. And he has the patience to sit and wait for the specimen to come into view of his camera to snap a good shot. So when you look at his work, not only is it beautiful, you learn something. His unique perspective is pretty much summed up in this video he created. It’s a video from a hike and you can see where his attention is focused and what he wants to share with the viewer.
In his own words, Nate says, “My body of work is at the confluence of hiking, conservation, and fine art photography. It is my goal to showcase the unique plants and animals that live at these places and give you a reason to protect them for future generations.”
Not everyone can get these types of photos. It takes years of education and experience on the trail to learn where the different species can be found. Looking at his blog you would think Nate is a researcher or scientist of some sort but nope, dude is an accountant. He’s got a regular 9 to 5. What you see in his photos and on his blog are products of his passion for being outdoors and on the trail over the weekend.
The Tagami & Powell Gallery and Gardens is open to the public but it can visited by appointment only. Luckily, we had an appointment.
Brad Watanabe (Berad Studio) and I were here to shoot a video interview for a project we’re working on. Here, Nate is dropping some knowledge on us about the ancient trails used by Hawaiian messengers.
When I arrived Nate first gave me a tour of the main gallery. It’s mostly the art of Tagami and Powell but there are pieces from other artists here as well.
The gallery has the layout of a home.
I instantly became a fan of Hiroshi Tagami. He paints solely with a pallet knife. The paint is applied in thick globs and the colors are allowed to mix organically. Add a light source to the painting and the depth and translucent quality of the oils really comes through.
This minimal landscape captures the feeling of being on trail that’s completely socked in by clouds. I’m sure most of you can relate.
The lava pieces are bold.
My favorite piece in the collection. Can someone spot me a few thousand dollars?
We exited the main gallery and walked over to a second gallery.
This is Nate’s gallery.
His photos are printed large on canvas and framed. There are several different sized prints you can choose from. You can see and learn more about Nate’s prints here.
And he has the most unique collection of Hawaii themed note cards you can find.
I bought a bunch since I wasn’t sure when I’d ever get to come back to the gallery. The snail (kahuli) is my favorite. You can also order note cards from Nate online.
We then toured around the garden. Here’s a collection of ti plants.
There’s a short path built that takes you down into the forest toward the back of the property.
It’s pretty much a jungle back there.
This place is another one of those perfect spots for photowalking (and Instagramming).
This awesome bench which is an work of art in itself.
After we were done shooting our interview Brad, Nate and I sat and talked story on the patio for a bit. This property has such a relaxing feel to it we could’ve stayed all day.
But we all had things to do so we exited the gate and called it a day.
Thanks for letting us visit the gallery Nate. It was a real treat.
More about Nate’s contribution to the Hawaii hiking community.
- Nate Yuen’s blog HawaiianForest.com. You can order prints and note cards from here.
- Nate curated a photo exhibit to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Hawaiian Trail & Mountain Club. Learn about that here.
- I think Nate’s unique perspective on hiking can be summed up in this video. It’s a totally unique hiking video that aims to educate the viewer on native species on the trail: Watch “Wailupe West Middle Ridge“.
- Subscribe to Nate Yuen’s channel on Vimeo.
More about the Tagami & Powell Gallery and Gardens