Jimmy Im (writer),
Kate Swan (photographer)
Artists: Keone Nunes
Don’t even think about asking Keone Nunes to tattoo a dagger or dolphin on you. “All I do is Hawaiian tattoos, designs inked for various cultural reasons,” says Nunes. These designs (bold, geometric shapes) have names, meanings, prayers and can reflect the genealogy of the individual.
Nunes, who has been tattooing since 1990, works nontraditionally—he has no shop (he works out of a Hawaiian healing center) and he doesn’t use machines (he taps, which he assures is faster and less painful). “In the process of getting tattooed in the ’70s, my tattooist and inspiration, Kandi Everett, recognized the fact that I knew a lot about Hawaiian tattoos from a cultural view,” Nunes explains. “She encouraged me to bring that back out to the community.” Since then, he’s been inking people who come to him by word of mouth. He speaks with the client, finds out what’s important to them and why they want the tattoo then he inks a design he seems fit. Though he tattoos regularly, he’s very selective of his clients.
“If people want to get a tattoo just because they want it, I will say no. If they want it for their journey and growth and own understanding of their family and who they are, I’ll consider it. I don’t want to tattoo the world. I want to tattoo the people that are more aware of the significance of their tattoo.”
DRINK: Indigo, 1121 Nuuanu Ave., Honolulu, HI, 808-521-2900. This Asian fusion restaurant is the place for mingling, tropical drinks, and trendy crowds.
EAT: Hanohano Room, 2255 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI, 808-922-4422. Visit this eatery atop the Sheraton for tasty dishes and a view of the Waikiki beach.
SHOP: Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks, 130 Kailua Rd., Kailua, HI, 808-262- 2555. This shop has everything from stylish board shorts to sunglasses. Rent a kayak for a trip to the Mokulua Islands for some impressive scenery.
Keone Nunes : http://www.paui.com/