May 26, 2011

Hawaiian connection -photographer son

John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik and Shuya Abe, opening of the Paik exhibition, Galeria Bonino, New York, 23 November 1971 © Tom Haar

I met Tom san in NYC, summer of 1970. I knocked on his apartment door, and he greeted me with a broad Haar smile. Still smiling, he said he had gotten robbed a few days ago, all his Nikkon cameras and lenses gone. In the later years, we met several times, and he always had that Haar smile. When he introduced me his Japanese wife, the smile was even broader.

Tom san was introduced to me by my art instructor (University of Hawaii, Manoa). "Meet this guy when you reach NYC, a promising photographer", he said. I was about to set out on a month-long tour on the mainland America on the Grey Hound Bus. In NYC, Tom san took me around, to a party, to artists' studios in Soho, and to some obscure diner, which reminded me of a Edward Hopper painting (Nighthawks, 1942).

Many years later, when he settled in Hawaii, I visited him at a house with view on St. Louis Heights. That was when I met Francis Haar for the first time. (To be continued)

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