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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Have We Just Experienced the Latest Wave of a Tiki Resurgence, and resulting Devolution?

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Have We Just Experienced the Latest Wave of a Tiki Resurgence, and resulting Devolution?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 02, 2002
Posts: 1115
From: SF bay area, CA
Posted: 2011-04-25 1:49 pm   Permalink


On 2011-04-25 11:50, bigbrotiki wrote:
"Have We Just Experienced the Latest Wave of a Tiki Resurgence TC THREAD, and ITS resulting Devolution?"

Here's my analysis of your analysis of this thread's analysis of the waves of tiki: It's meta-rrific!

Couple comments on some of the milestones...

  • Taboo Cove closing. Not sure that's really a significant event in the scheme of things. The death of neat design concepts due to poorly executed business plans seems to be par for the course in Las Vegas. However, I think the point may have been that it was one of the best early examples of a fully realized atmosphere by one of the artists from the modern tiki "movement" (kudos to Bosko!). And as such, it was sad that it didn't last. Old Taboo Cove thread for reading pleasure.

  • House Industries tiki fonts. Although I am too lazy to look up when those came out (2001?), I think the influence of the House tiki collection as a graphical toolkit is highly underrated. For better or worse, the fonts and especially the clipart tiki images spawned wave upon wave of "watered down" tiki products at Target, Big Lots, etc. They're beautifully done, and thus very appealing when used on packaging, and even pseudo art objects. I remember seeing custom tiki "art" cards in a giftshop in Kauai, which just directly used the House clipart. It's a funny indirect effect, because probably the talented people at House get very little proportional return from the mountain of geegaws, t-shirts, and other stuff that has used their imagery. Pure speculation, but I kinda think that the availability of their tiki imagery may have actually been a contributor to the product decisions in the following years by the companies making discount tiki junk (sorry - I mean "fine tiki artifacts"). Just as BOT images were poached for a fair number of products, the House tiki collection was even easier to use. It's a strange kind of devolution when the original source artwork is great, but the product range on which it gets used descends several steps downward.

  • Oasis and Hukilau. JOHN-O pointed out some of the new events that have arisen since 2004, with resounding success. But even more indicative is the continued success and growth of the old events. If we were experiencing the receding waters of the most recent tiki wave, one would expect to see these events fading away or holding steady. But they've grown enormously, certainly since 2004. What may have started as a ragtag collection of shared interests among various hipster groups (modcom, incredibly strange music / exotica, etc.) transformed into this thing that keeps drawing more and more people in and uniting more parallel interests ("cocktailians", rockabillies, garage-niks, burly-q's, etc.). Theoretically that might not have much bearing on the core TIKI question of whether there's sustained life for bars and restaurants done "right" with tiki style. But aside from the continual churn in the waters of the hospitality business, it seems pretty clear that we're still in the growth phase in that respect too.

Maybe the ones most qualified to comment on the bigger trends are the modern day Barney Wests and Milan Guankos (like Bamboo Ben, Tiki Diablo, and others). And of course Oceanic Arts - as far as I know the ONLY people to bridge both the modern phenomenon and the original era that many of us analyze and dream of. But maybe they're too busy to comment! (And wouldn't that be the best comment in itself?)


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