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Waikiki Tiki: Art, History and Photographs [Hardcover]

Phillip S. Roberts

Price: £14.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two thumbs Up !! 14 Nov 2010
By JOHN-O - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a great book for both the hard-core Tikiphile as well as anyone who has an interest in Hawaii's mid-century history. Tiki-style has been well documented from a mainland perspective but not so much from Hawaii. The fascinating thing about Tiki is that it started in California as an "idealization" of Polynesian paradise (credit Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic). When jet travel became popular in the late 1950's, tourists were disappointed to find that same "native" iconography really didn't exist. So what happened, Hawaii imported that fabricated aesthetic back to the islands.

As a result a very unique tourist industry sprouted up in Waikiki. This is the classic ideal of a Hawaiian vacation in the 1950's and 1960's. So much of it has been lost with all of the rapid development which took off in the 1970's and is still with us today. The author documents that lost history but also points out what still exists today.

Hawaii is a birthplace of original native Tiki art, and it's fascinating to see how that same art form inspired a new Tiki-style on the mainland which came back to Hawaii full circle.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Less plastic, more traditional Tiki, please! 1 July 2011
By Tony Arnold - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
While most tikiphiles like myself would agree that any Tiki culture book is better than none, I say that with some reserve about this title: not because of the focus or the text, but on account of about 25% of the photos. Any space devoted to the latter-day plastic abominations that are foisted off on the unknowing public by chains such as Big Lots and Party City is wasted space, and there is too much of that to be found here. Granted, author Roberts states up-front that he's just reporting on the history and state of Tiki in this particular locale; good, bad or ugly, but that's not how I would've preferred it. Who cares about the bad? We can reference internet photos of plastic party decorations if that's what we're in the mood for, or just pop in to any one of most tourist destinations touting themselves as "tiki bars."
The real shame is that we're given such slim exposure to living sculptors like Mike "Gecko" Soriolle: undoubtedly the best living Tiki artist in the islands, and one of the world's best. It's real artists like Gecko who so successfully integrate traditional elements of Polynesian Pop into their own unique idiom who need and deserve more exposure, not the cartoon clown totems that are peddled to the great unwashed.
By all means purchase this book and fill out your Tiki shelf: support the author's work and more like it. Hopefully, the next edition will give these deserving artists the pre-eminence that's coming to them.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh look at one of Polynesia's adored treasures! 16 Oct 2012
By Judy Asman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A must-read for anyone interested in a fresh and modern perspective of Polynesia.

In "Waikiki Tiki," author-photographer Phillip Roberts invites us on a whimsical journey through the streets of Waikiki and beyond. Featuring stunning snapshots of the tiki: as large structures, small charms, carved as housewares, in postcards, in vibrant murals, and so much more.

Thanks to pithy and well-researched descriptions that accompany each image of the tiki, we visit the region with a new set of lenses, learning the nuance of Hawaiian pop culture that fuses ancient history, Hollywood legacy, modern-day tourism and cultural/local tradition. It's fascinating!

Beyond what's inside, the book itself is compact and exceptionally attractive. Most ideal for coffee table display, gift-buying and of course, leisure reading during "me" time!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book 13 Jan 2014
By VickyUnleashed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you love Tiki culture, then I highly recommend this book. The photos are lovely, and the content provides a lot of useful and interesting information regarding Tiki culture. This is a great gift for a lover of all things Tiki.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilled Tiki lover 30 Dec 2013
By Keri - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I got this for my brother and he loved it! He told me how many of the pictured products he actually owns from the front cover alone. He had not seen this published book yet and was happy to have received it for Christmas. He even told me that these books usually sell out and do not reproduce often.
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