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Hei Tiki

Kereama Taepa

This special edition was produced for Objectspace in conjunction with the 2020 exhibition Transmission by Kereama Taepa. The hei tiki features the Objectspace grid design as a motif and is a great gift or piece of personal adornment. 

Kereama Taepa first started making hei tiki in 2015, and originally produced them as brooches for gifting purposes. The award-winning, multidisciplinary artist's practice demonstrates the long tradition of innovation within te ao Māori. His use of whakairo (carving) extends from gallery walls to everyday dress, exploring the infinite possibilities of digital technologies to transmit mātauranga Māori.


A previous iteration of Taepa's hei tiki can be seen in the Moana Currents: Dressing Aotearoa Now exhibition in 2019 by New Zealand Fashion Museum and touring domestically since.


Material: 3-D printed nylon material (dyed), 91mm.
Cord: nylon, hand-plaited and lashed, 410mm.

Artist Bio

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.