Mike Bam Tyau is originally from Honolulu, Hawaii and moved to the Bay Area in 1986 to attend the Academy of Art in San Francisco. As a part of the “golden age” of graffiti writing in the 80ʻs, he wrote with the TWS (Together With Style) crew and later joined the TDK (Those Damn Kids) crew of Oakland. After taking a hiatus from writing for over 10 years, Mike came back to the scene in the mid 2000s and starting traveling to street art festivals (Art Basel & Pow Wow Hawaii) with the Montana Colors street team.
Within the past 5 years, Mike started to paint more about his ancestors and heritage in Hawaii. Teaching classes for 808Urban.org and joining the MeleMurals.org non-profit organization, Mike currently returns to Hawaii several times a year to connect with the ‘ōpio/children of Hawaii by learning about their land, ancestors and mo‘olelo ‘āina (stories of place). In return, he teaches the youth how to paint murals and be the future storytellers.
The body of work that Mike is currently working on is about the ‘aumakua (family gods that are represented by animals). Some of the ‘aumakua tie into several mo‘olelo ‘aina based on past murals painted with the children of Hawaii and New Zealand. Most of the work would be similar to what we paint in murals, but scaled down to canvas.