I never painted in my life before COVID
Manila-born HAIKI, 24, has been producing and creating music for a few years now in Los Angeles as part of the electronic duo Prtyfoul, managed by FU DOG Music.
But when the pandemic hit the United States and strict lockdowns were implemented in California, he was stuck at home with nothing to do.
“I work out, made music but got bored of the cycle,” HAIKI said.
After deciding he wanted to paint, he called his grand-uncle, Mou-Sien Tseng, an acclaimed Taiwanese painter and illustrator known for his traditional Chinese art who is now based in New York.
“I learned a lot of techniques from him,” HAIKI said, “He told me to go for it.”
His grand-uncle reminded him that art is an endless pursuit of knowledge; one will never have nothing to do. Art will be there for you whenever you’re up or down. “I never painted before COVID,” HAIKI admits. “But I’ve always loved to sketch and draw since I was a kid.”
During the lockdown, HAIKI’s painting took off. “Painting helped me pass the time during lockdown,” he said.
Given his style of using bright colors and how he pays attention to detail, a usual painting session lasts around three to four hours. “Then I stand up and do something else,” he said.
He loves to paint popular sports figures and sneakers that he likes but can’t afford. He recently made a portrait of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who recently died of cancer. HAIKI proudly posted his work of Boseman in his Instagram and said that he’s keeping the painting and is not for sale.
He is also an advocate of BLM (Black Lives Matter) and painted a sneaker piece the week George Floyed died. “I chose to paint shoes because I had black roommates for four years and those Nike kicks reminded me of them.”
He is busy doing more commissions but admits he’s unsure what’s next. “I have no idea, but that what keeps me going,” he said. “Anything can happen, and that’s what I live for.”