Kainoa Makua grew up in the Puna district of the Island of Hawaii where he still resides.
A graduate of Kamehameha Schools and he earned a B.A. in ne arts from UH-Hilo.
It was while he was at Kamehameha Schools, after exploring various art mediums, that he dis- covered his passion for ceramics. This continued throughout his college years at UH-Hilo under the guidance of Professor Gordon Lee.
It is in the medium of the ‘aina that he is able to express himself. His pieces can be functional as a platter or a pot, but they are uniquely his and express a Hawaiian point of view. Kainoa’s ceramic pieces have been featured at the Bishop Museum, Wailoa Art Center, and in many art shows and exhibitions throughout the state.
Kainoa grew up working with his father Nelson Makua, in his design business. This prepared him well for his role as a designer and co-owner of Nā Mākua Original Hawaiian Designs. To- gether, the father and son team have developed a company image for Nä Mäkua that focuses on their pride in being Hawaiian. Their designs are bold, personal and very distinctive. “Our images often create strong emotional feelings in Hawaiians and we are often told how proud our designs make them feel.”
By incorporating contemporary graphic design with traditional Hawaiian motifs, Kainoa’s clay creations reflect the duality of the modern Hawaiian artist and traditional values of kanaka maoli.