KASA is a Kauaʻi-based, collaborative artist team (Kapache1 and Samve7).
Kaplan Bunce, or Kapache1, is self-described as a father of three daughters, surfer, carpenter, artist, and lover. He is a Native American artist who first began experimenting with visual representations of his prayers and ideas about sacredness and positivity as a carpenter saving scrap wood to create native figures and picture frames. His work has evolved into various other mediums but his themes continue to revolve around prayer and living life in a good way.
Samuel Schryver (Samve7) is described by Kaplan as the coolest guy in the room, no matter where you are. The Los Angeles-born artist built the foundations of his visual style in underground graffiti culture during his teenage years. With his graffiti days long gone, Sam still creates art with a similar process, utilizing non-traditional approaches.
KASA is responsible for a mural that extends across multiple walls and surfaces on the old warehouse of the former guava plantation which is now the Common Ground campus. For Kaplan, the collaborative mural for Common Ground is a continuation of traditional artwork, a “reckoning mechanism for generational trauma” and “our truth and home.” The final product is a representation of modern Hawaiʻi, the melding of many cultures, coexisting and collaborating to form a more perfect union.
While the duo flexed their own styles plenty, the mural remained focused on the overarching goals of CG and its commitment to supporting arts and culture.
Kaplan expresses that art in Hawaiʻi is so important because the various cultures that have found a home here all have their own art practices—it is a universal human language. Visual art consistently succeeds in breaking down boundaries and connecting humans, which is just what this mural’s unified vision does.
The mightiness behind Kaplan and Sam’s mural is an endless loop: it was inspired by the collective of creative energy just as it will continue to fuel the community’s creative energy.
In the pursuit of developing a venue for other Hawaiʻi-based artists to showcase their work, KASA is also working on developing art residency programs with the belief that they will create pathways for artists. “We’re going to find someone with something to say and we’re going to give them a place here to showcase it,” says Kaplan.
While the artist team ventures off-island for projects, they always return and remain Hawaiʻi-based.