Kereama Taepa studied for his Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts at Massey University in Palmerston North, and continued on to gain his Masters degree. Taepa’s involvement in the arts have been broad and varied participating in various national and international arts residencies, symposiums, workshops and hui.
He has exhibited his art nationally and internationally, and has works in collections across New Zealand and abroad. He has recently unveiled ‘Tohorā’ on the Kāpiti Coast, 2020 as well as 'Pōhutukawa’ on the Tauranga Waterfront, 2018. Other major public works include the ‘a (very) brief history of aotearoa’ sculptures for the Four Plinths Sculpture Project in Wellington, 2016 and a public sculpture titled ‘tichi’ in New Plymouth, 2015. He is a Supreme Award winner of the Rotorua Art Awards 2017, the Molly Morpeth 2D Art Award in 2008 and recently received the Runner Up Award at the National Art Awards 2018.
For the last decade, Taepa has sought to establish himself as Aotearoa’s most leading contemporary Māori digital artist. His work explores themes of digital culture and its impact on Māori culture - and how Māori can use technology to further serve the generations of the future. His work utilizes emergent technologies such as projection, 3D printing, Augmented Reality and Virtual reality to tell narratives of the past and the present. This has resulted in his work being the first digital artwork to be acquired by the Parliamentary Collection in 2023.
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As a creative, I am fascinated by the potential of digital technologies to transform our perceptions of the world around us. Through my work, I explore the intersection of technology and Te Ao Māori, seeking to create art that both reflects and challenges our understanding of these two worlds
I use a range of digital technologies to create my work, including 3D printing, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and projection mapping. These tools allow me to create immersive, interactive experiences that blur the boundaries between the physical, digital and spiritual realms. By manipulating light, sound, and space, I aim to transport viewers to new, unexpected places, encouraging them to explore the intersections of tradition and innovation, past and future. At the heart of my work are Māori concepts such as whakapapa (genealogy), tikanga (customs), and kaitiakitanga (stewardship) to inform and inspire. Through my work, I seek to honor Māori culture, while also exploring the ways in which it can be reinterpreted and reimagined in a rapidly changing digital landscape.
Ultimately, my art is a celebration of the possibilities of technology, and a reminder that even in the digital age, we remain deeply connected to the natural world and to each other. By exploring the intersections of technology and Te Ao Māori, I hope to inspire viewers to see the world around them in new and transformative ways, and to appreciate the richness and diversity of our shared human experience.