Born and raised in Hawaii, photographer Tom Kualii has always loved creativity and expressing what he sees through art. However, it wasn’t until he was deployed to Iraq that he began to discover his fascination with the world of photography. During his time there, he captured the atmosphere of beauty set within a world of chaotic war and thus began his love for the camera.

Upon return to his home town, Kualii continued to advance his skills in photography and has since turned his passion to what he calls “the theatre that is Kalapana; The vast playground of the Hawaiian Goddess, Pele.” According to Hawaiian religion, Pele is the goddess of fire, lighting, wind, and volcanoes, and she is known for her creative passion and profound love.

Kualii enjoys taking extreme risks and finding great adventure through his visual exploration of Hawaii and, through that process, he also finds a connection to his Hawaiian roots. He says, “The Big Island is a treasury of extremes, ranging from lush windward tropical forests to soaring volcanic peaks, from the plains of Waimea, to the cliff-walled valley of Waipo; from the lunar desolation of Ka’u, to the ancient settlements of Kona, Kohala and Puna, the Big Island covers it all, and I cover the Big Island.”

By Katie Hosmer






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