powder coated mild steel, wood, paint, mirror pane, neon and electricity
2,331 x 3,852 x 600 mm
KAOKAO is a pattern found in Māori tribal houses signifying fortitude and virility. It alludes to the haka stance assumed as a prelude to war or in celebration of victory. The kaokao is composed of two crosses with the bilateral inversion of the chevron horizontally referencing the ‘K’ figure associated with Polynesian art.
The diamond void acts as a portal for viewing the significant Whetumatarau headland to the north and ocean and islands beyond, alluding to the arrival and conquest through time by different iwi, followed by European settlement, logging, farming and tourism. Inevitably what was once Māori land has all but disappeared with the exception of Whetumatarau and the sculpture’s two crosses are a symbol of the two waves of settlement on Waiheke Island; Maori and European. KAOKAO stands as a beacon to remind people of a history of land alienation and waves of mana whenua that turned the foreshore of Matiatia into a wahi tapu that continues to unveil the bones of ancestors.
– Robert Jahnke