Bay of Plenty artist, Joe Te Wharau (of Ngāti Maru descent) has combined “3D printing technology with traditional Maori designs to create new ‘digital treasures’”. His art is entitled as Matihiko Taonga V1.0,which will be exhibited at the Art of Technology exhibition in Tauranga from now until November 5th
Taonga, in Maori culture, is a treasure or an object that is highly prized. This can also be in the form of words or memories, not just physical manifests. Te Wharau saw the potential to utilise modern technology – namely 3D printing – to translate Maori traditions into modern taonga and thus, creating original pieces such as artistic pendants.
3D printed in nylon, Te Wharau was able to invoke Maori culture in his tiki pieces with impressive precision, down to the moko designs. Not only that, Te Wharau has embedded microchips into the tiki pieces, which can be programmed to store information.
Preserving the Past
The Matihiko Taonga V1.0 exhibition sets as an example to remind us that 3D printing isn’t just only reserved for futuristic endeavours, but also as a way of preserving our culture and our histories that make us who we are today.