Kereama Taepa

Kereama Taepa Whuture whakairo, 2019

3d prints and mixed media, 2000 x 2000 x 300 mm.

Whuture whakairo is a play on words – ‘whuture’ referencing the future and ‘whakairo’ referencing traditional Māori carving. The installation itself presents a futuristic archaeological excavation of ‘carved’ artifacts that have been created with today’s visual language and technology linking past, present and future and questions ideas around tradition and innovation. The artifacts within the excavation have not been carved but 3D printed, taking advantage of a technology that is able to create patterns and forms that would otherwise be difficult if not impossible to create by hand. This then pushes the tradition of whakairo into new territory which I have named whakapī.

The objects that make up Whuture whakairo look traditional at first glance, however on closer inspection references from popular culture such as Apple computers and Pac Man are revealed. References to kai feature heavily, as it links the work to the adjacent sites on the island where the local iwi cultivated kumara in the past. Our traditions dictate what we should do and how we should do it. However, when considering how we can adapt to changing environments through new and innovative technologies I tend to subscribe to our oldest tradition … the tradition of innovation itself.

Kereama Taepa

Born Upper Hutt. Lives and works in Tauranga.

Kereama Taepa completed first a bachelors and then a masters in Māori Visual Arts at Massey University Toioho ki Apiti, Palmerston North. Taepa’s involvement in the arts have been broadand varied including bronze technician at the Dibble Arts Foundry and participating in various national Māori arts symposiums, workshops and hui and currently lectures at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, and has works in collections across New Zealand and abroad. His most recent public works include “Pohutukawa” on the Tauranga Waterfront 2018 and “a (very) brief history of aotearoa” for the Four Plinths Award in Wellington 2016. He holds the Supreme Award for the Rotorua Art Awards 2017 and received the Runner Up Award in the National Art Awards 2018.