Malama Art Heritage

LeiManu Designs

Pua Malama Torch (TM)
The original Malama Torch design (TM)

Donald Namohala Yuen created the Malama Torch (TM) in 1967, but he was known for his work well before that. Don was born and reared in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. He spent the Korean War in the US Navy. After the Navy, he attended the California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts).

Don’s art esthetic was formed by the Arts and Crafts movement and Abstract Expressionism of San Francisco, then the center of high culture onthe West Coast. While there, Don developed a wholistic philosophy of art, incorporating his sense of design into everything from utilitarian objects such as lamps and door knobs to fine jewelry.

Mural inthe Officers' Mess, Pearl Harbor
Don painted this mural in the Officers’ Mess at Pearl Harbor.

But, even before attending college,  Don was recognized as an artist. The Navy, recognizing a valuable resource in the young sailor, set him to work painting murals in the officer’s mess, dive training tank, and other sites at Pearl Harbor. The paintings remained for many years.

Don continues to remain true to his heritage, incorporating the history and culture of Hawaiʻi into his art.

Mural at Pearl Harbor
More of the mural at Pearl Harbor painted by Don Yuen.
"The Spear Fisherman"
Don Yuen and his painting, “The Spear Fisherman.”
Puakō Church
Chandelier and candle holders by Don Yuen in the church at Puakō.
Puakō Church
Newspaper article on the church at Puakō.
Wall Sconces by Don Yuen
Hammered copper wall sconces made by Don Yuen in the 1960s allow the imagination for interpret them as anything from coral formations to sailing canoes and beyond. Photo taken at the Mālama art show, Hawaiʻi Museum of Contemporary Art, 2014.
ʻŌpihi themed gate and fence by Maoli artist Donald Namohala Yuen.
Crab theme sculptural railing on bridge.
Ula - Lobster
Ula – Lobster railing by Donald Namohala Yuen.
Wana and Kihikihi
Wana and Kihikihi railing by Don Yuen.
Don Yuen continues to be inspired by the plants and animals of Hawaiʻi.
Kaku, the barracuda, is a dramatic looking fish depicted here in copper by Don Yuen.