top of page

"Transmission" explores whakapapa, technology, tradition, innovation, and the idea that sound carries culture. It is an installation that consists of 3D printed pukaea, 3D printers printing poupou and an interactive VR experience.


During a residency in Banff, I created my first taonga puoro by modeling and 3D printing a putōrino, something that I had wanted to make since my early twenties. From here I printed other taonga puoro and explored their forms, sounds, their whakapapa and went further into creating a playable kōauau within VR.


Taonga puoro, some of the musical artifacts of our culture, were used in many different ways.... to communicate, to teach, to carry waiata and to meditate... and I started to think deeper about the notion of sound itself as a taonga - as it was sound itself that carried mātauranga Māori across time. And so, the naming of the show "Transmission" hints at this idea - the transmission of sound carries knowledge to keep Te Ao Māori alive.


The 5 suspended 3D printed pūkaea of "kia mataara", situated at the entrance to the gallery greet the audience into the space. Customarily, pūkaea were primarily used to warn of approaching manuhiri, and these days can be heard frequently within powhiri. The idea is to introduce the notion of sound - and also to warn the audience, as some may find the ideas within the show to be somewhat confronting.


In the middle of the space was "Tāneauaha", of three large 3D printers within a steel rack, forming a large central poutokomanawa of industrial steel and machinery. Throughout the duration of the show the printers 3D printed numerous parts that were then connected together to create four poupou that were situated across the back of the gallery. The artwork were not the 3D printed poupou - rather it was the poutokomanawa of 3D printers in action whilst printing - providing ideas of creation and continued innovation for the survival of culture.


The last work "Oro" was an experiential work that the audience could interact with by playing a kōaua within VR. This then filled the gallery space with sound - providing ideas that it's the receiver of a transmission and their own transmission that furthered collective knowledge.

For further reading, curator Ane Tonga's essay on the work can be found here.


The exhibition's inclusion into the Auckland Arts Festival also provided a space for puoro expert Horomona Horo to perform within the gallery space amongst the work. You can watch a recording of his performance here.


On conclusion of Horomona's performance, a conversation was had between Horomona and myself about our respective practices, and the role taonga puoro have within Te Ao Māori. This conversation can be viewed here.


"Transmission" was curated by Ane Tonga, as part of her Ockham residency and exhibited at Objectspace, 12th March to 12th July 2020.

have you seen these works by this artist...

bottom of page