Kuliana Edition BackStory

Sometimes good things come unexpected, and here and there we find signs that things do happen for a reason. 
I remember when I returned a rock to Hawaii; a rock that my mom took from a Hawaiian vacation in 2000,  and I brought it back to the islands in 2003. I actually transported this rock from Germany to New York City,  then to Los Angeles and finally to the old Heiau in Pupukea, on Oahu's North Shore .. not knowing back then (I lived in NYC), that I would move to Hawaii in 2005 .. and actually moved to Pupukea (less than 1/2 mile from the place where I returned that [river] rock). (FYI: Its bad karma to take rocks from the islands) – Coincidence or not, fact is that that particular trip to the islands had an incredible effect on my future. I am just so very thankful to be here: thankful  for all the things that happened on my artistic journey  - full of memories and adventures that would set a path of guidance and inspiration.

I studied Visual Communication in Germany with focus on photography and film design. Half way through my studies, I shifted and set the focus to graphic design and typography and started to combine my artistic vision with new tools and ways of communication. I read about the Bauhaus years, Kandinsky, El Lissitzky , Moholy Nagy and Mondrian - I fell in love with American Abstract Expressionism, its colorful and abstract dynamics. I developed a fascination with letters and words  and within my graphic studies I was inspired by Paul Rand, Neville Brody and David Carson, who changed the academic understanding  of design and function, and had a major impact on the tradition of type design and typography in particular...( years later, I was honored to have David Carson as a guest at my New York loft~ isn't life great?). In 1991 I received a Fulbright Scholarship and moved from Germany to New York City to attend Parsons School of Design. I wrote my Master Thesis about the interaction of ‘Text + Image in the Communicative Pattern of Fine Art Photography’: I wrote about Barbara Kruger, Gilbert and George, Duane Michals ... and I took a closer analytical look at my own artwork, trying to figuring out why I was doing what I was doing. That was way back in the early 90’s; later in my professional life as Sr. Art Director at Macy’s headquarters in New York, I continued to develop fine type for national ad campaigns, from Chanel fragrances to Prada shoes,  and continued with my ‘text-image’ compositions in my artwork on the side. 

I always wondered when I would find my niche,- my calling,- and my own style? With all what I have experienced in my life; living in different countries, studying abroad, experiencing Manhattan for 14 years as a professional and all that came with it ... until I finally found my way out there to the Hawaiian Island, the islands that I love so very much and in a way changed my life forever: adding momentum to my quest for artistic liberation and success.

The synergy between text and image is my passion: my urge to discover and create new compositions by adding text, word-fragments and single letters to distinct images – playful, yet with intend. The combination of text an image can tell stories … can ask questions … make us aware of things, or simply be poetic and take us away for a brief moment to different places, that are guided by our own imagination itself. Over time I experienced, that the best philosophy to be successful is to share resources, collaborate with other talents and contribute to the overall success of a project, in vision as well as innovation: creating something new and unexpected within the process. 

During my 12 years as Sr. Art Director in New York City I was exposed  to planing and execution of national product launches, major marketing strategies, and in Hawaii I learned a lot from my artistic collaboration with Christian Riese Lassen; about business structure and focus,- to build editions and create unique artistic resources and a lot more. I cherish all that I have learned from my Professors in Germany, Dr. Roland Günter and Professor Gottfried Jäger, my mentors that allowed me to approach each artistic project playful, poetic and sometimes find the philosophy later on in the process. I also admire my former employer, Oren Schliemam, a fascinating 'Thinker' an Creative Director, that taught me to do things right and be open minded .. take a step back and observe from a distance, collaborate and honor the people you work with.– I owe all of my mentors and teachers a great deal of gratitude.. and I am thankful to God for his guidance and inspiration. 

It is my profound belief that the concept of the "Kuliana Edition" is the essence of my artistic as well as spiritual experience I have captured over the years: the artistic and authentic outlet and platform I have been striving for all my life. Working with such a variety of talented artist and visionaries is truly an honor.

In our artistic collaboration, we share the same degree of passion and enthusiasm, the ability and commitment to synthesize dynamic and compelling compositions: elegantly integrated interdisciplinary works of art. We want to explore new methods, tell stories, define new perspectives, new elements and create a processes that we can develop further and advance our entrepreneurial and creative work. Our multi-disciplinary approach enables us to combine our talents to make a unique product with a fresh perspective: develop a distinct and innovative style of art that spans from adaptation of ‘Abstract Expressionism’ to inspirational and spiritual compositions. 

With the help of friends, business partners and mentors, that guided me along the way - from Germany - across the Atlantic to New York, and finally across the Pacific .. almost half way around the planet - to the beautiful NorthShore on the island of Oahu, I am truly excited to launch the Kuliana Edition and offer a wide variety of products from an array of editions. Please give us your feedback and help us to grow. We appreciate your input as well as your loyalty.

Aloha + much love from Hawaii
Harald-M. Lehnardt