Transmission is a major exhibition by award-winning, multidisciplinary artist Kereama Taepa that will realise one of his most ambitious commissions to date. Taepa’s practice demonstrates the long tradition of innovation within te ao Māori. His use of virtual reality and animation has infused whakairo (carving) with new modes of address, interaction and portability that extends from the gallery walls to everyday dress.
Transmission explores the infinite possibilities of digital technologies to transmit mātauranga Māori. Taepa considers digital technologies beyond their immediate application, locating them within Māori paradigms that simultaneously connect to origin stories and offers space to embed personal narratives as a way forward into the future.
Kereama says, “Looking into the future, my major concern is how we may identify our kinship to these digital and virtual phenomena so that these technologies are not merely being used, but rather they are contextualised within te ao Māori itself.”
Audio Transmission, a special music performance in response to the exhibition took place at Objectspace on Friday 20 March. A recording can be found at our journal.
Kereama Taepa has a Masters in Māori Visual Arts from Massey University in Palmerston North. His involvement in the arts have been broad and varied including working as a bronze technician at the Dibble Arts Foundry and participating in various national Māori arts symposiums, workshops and hui.
Taepa has been involved with fashion through his label Urbanmāori. As a finalist within the Miromoda Indigenous Fashion Awards twice he received entry to show at New Zealand Fashion Week in 2010 and 2011 within the Miromoda shows.
Taepa taught art within the Te Whare Wānanga O Awanuiārangi Art and Visual Culture Degree and currently teaches within the Bachelor of Creative Technologies at Waiariki Institute of Technology, Rotorua.
He has exhibited his art nationally and internationally, and has works in collections across New Zealand. Having recently installed sculptures for the Four Plinths Sculpture Project outside Te Papa, Wellington, early 2016 and a public sculpture in New Plymouth, 2015. His first major commissions saw him design the screens for the new toilets on the Waipa side of the Whakarewarewa Forest in 2014 and the shrouds surrounding the Redwoods toilets in Rotorua 2013. Taepa is the Supreme Award winner of the Molly Morpeth 2D Art Award in 2008, and picked up the Manawatu Pottery Society Awards open award in 2002.