Mark Chai... Extraordinary from the Ordinary

Mark Chai was one of the guys that along with my brother, Bob, and some other art students in the late seventies and early eighties, would hold joint exhibition-sales at our parents' home in Honolulu.

The memory is more a blurred recollection of these occasional events which pre-dated the garage sale madness that occurs every weekend in so many Oahu neighborhoods. It was a time in which these budding artists tested their craft on a small buying public.

More than the actual art pieces of each of these young Hawaii artists, I remember makeshift shelves we set up using planks, sawhorses, and pieces of scrap wood.

So, in essence, I don't remember what it was that Mark Chai was producing those well-over-twenty years ago. Instead, my "re-acquaintance" with Mark happened by chance the other day while visiting with my mother.

I came across a Honolulu Magazine on the dining table and started to flip through it having noticed a special section on my neighborhood, Kailua Town. I come across a page with a beautiful wooden hanging lamp and the name of its creator, Mark Chai.

That very day, as I'm still at my mother's, my brother calls from Virginia and as we're sharing news with each other he suddenly asks, "Hey, do you remember Mark Chai?" "Yeah," I almost yell back as he continues, "he's in the Honolulu Magazine!"

These days, Mark Chai is creating extraordinary lamps using such ordinary and mundane media as 2-ply wood veneer and pvc plastic. From these synthetic construction-type materials he precisely cuts and assembles highly complex geometrics which capitalize on their maple, mahogony, or cherry veneers.

The vision from which Mark's pieces evolve are things local - like fruits, seed pods, gardens, and hula implements.

Mark's lamps are but a small part of the wide spectrum of art pieces he produces from an array of mixed-media. And while I have yet to see his pvc lamps and much of his other works, I was blown out enough to call him at INTO , where he is exhibiting some of his works, to tell him I'd like to put him on the hawaiibeachcombers site.

To see more of Mark's works visit his website, Mark Chai Arts for some extraordinarily creative accomplishments!

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