Underwater photographer and Wood/Resin Artist
Akima Kai has been passionate about sharing her love of the ocean and mother nature thru her photography for over 20 years. She is an ocean photographer, mermaid model, free-diver, skin diving instructor and tour guide. She got her first underwater camera in 1999. Fascinated with the underwater world and marine life she found her passion to be in the saltwater.
She has lived in Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Philippines. After 12 years of traveling the North and South Pacific Islands of Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Marshall Island, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Niue, she has finally found a place to call home here in beautiful Hawaii nei.
While living in Hawaii she began free-diving and discovered it is the best way to photograph marine life. She wants you to feel the raw and wild power of the Earth. She hopes her work will help you connect with nature and remind you who we share this planet with and that this is a place we need to do our part to save. Her photography showcases her journeys and adventures around the world capturing the true colors of the earth.
Connect with the raw beauty of the Earth. When she opened her own gallery WAIMEA BLUE in Hawaii in 2019 she also began making her own Ocean art in addition to her photography. Her one-of-a-kind, handcrafted pieces of original art are inspired by and made in the surfing capital of the world: North Shore, Haleiwa, Hawaii. Using only locally grown reclaimed wood and epoxy resin, she likes to think of her wood art as breathing a second life into the tree. Akima has lived and traveled to over thirty countries, spending most of her time in the water. The blue of the ocean, its white waves, the sea breeze and marine life are her sources of inspiration.
Her gallery WAIMEA BLUE, has been her dream project. A place where local artists can share their love of the ocean and the beautiful islands of Hawai’i they call home.
Please visit Waimea Blue Gallery in Haleiwa, Island of Oahu to see local art. 66-250 Kamehameha Hwy Haleiwa HI 96712
Don't hesitate to reach out Contact us.
Oh well, that's a quite boring profile, isn't it? 😄
When I was younger, I grew tired of drinking and partying and started pondering what I could do and what I truly wanted. I was born and raised in one of the world's largest cities, so I didn't feel the need to seek a big city experience.
I have a deep love for motorbikes, cars, and the ocean. So, I thought, why not head overseas for scuba diving? I purchased underwater camera equipment and obtained a year's visa for Australia.
But here comes my significant issue: seasickness. It's a major hindrance for diving and underwater photography. Unfortunately, my seasickness hasn't improved, even though I've spent years on boats and half my life in or on the ocean. I've had a few close calls due to seasickness.
What I desire is the most challenging thing for me, but I just can't give it up. Once you connect with dolphins or whales, you can't simply walk away.
My passion is to share the beautiful world that Earth has to offer. Life exists freely here, and they need our help to live safely in today's world, so I can't give up.
After over 20 years, I still battle seasickness while pursuing this dream with the same fervor I had from the beginning.
By sheer accident, I opened Waimea Blue Gallery in Haleiwa, Oahu. Yep, it was a total accident! But I soon realized that many people appreciate my work. My clients say, "I appreciate your work," and I reply, "Please remember, I appreciate your support. I value your support as much as you value my work."
Oh, how did I start working with wood, resin, and digital art?
I opened Waimea Blue Gallery on March 31, 2019, and you can probably guess what happened on the one-year anniversary, right? At that time, I was also a tour guide, but all tours were canceled, and the gallery had to shut down due to state orders. Beaches were closed, so I found myself stuck at home, but I thought, "Now I have the time." I had always wanted to work with wood, but I never had the time. Then, I started working with wood and even created my own ocean scenes using local reclaimed wood.
At Waimea Blue Gallery, we feature 18 local artists. When I work in the gallery, these artworks inspire me, and many ideas come to mind. I can't paint; honestly, I can't. So, I figured out how to create something without painting. I started making alcohol ink art and turning photos into digital art on the computer. Don't call me an "artist"; I'm not. I'm an underwater photographer trying to make my dream a reality.
So, a big thank you to my fans who have allowed me to pursue my most challenging dream job. You're not just supporting me; you're supporting someone's dream, passion, and way of life. 😊
Mahalo nui loa