Kia‘i (The Guardian)
by Gerard Tsutakawa

Located:
Mall Level 2, Ewa Wing, near Nordstrom

Description:
This bronze water sculpture standing at 8 feet tall was designed by the son of George Tsutakawa, the artist responsible for Waiola, art work located near Macy’s and anchoring the opposite end of the Center. Kia‘i, which can be translated to “the guardian,” draws from many rich cultures and themes and was specifically commissioned for Ala Moana Center. The wide top, taper and jagged edges evoke the shape of a Polynesian war club while the zig zags are reminiscent of the folded paper ornamentation of good fortune and purification seen at Japanese shrines. The divided base legs and circle also symbolize a spirit image. 

About the Artist:
Son of artist George Tsutakawa who created Waiola, Gerard Tsutakawa followed in his father’s footsteps and has made a name for himself as an accomplished sculptor. A studio apprentice for his artist father for 20 years, Gerard created his first commissioned work in 1976. In the same studio where his father worked, he continues to design and fabricate anything from small studio bronze pieces to large public art fountains and sculptures.

Curated by: Kelly Sueda
Dedicated: 2016