Modern day twist on Maori legends opening at Rotorua Museum



Friday 1 March

Maui and his Brothers by Norm Heke

An exhibition by New Zealand photographer Norm Heke opens at Rotorua Museum tomorrow [2 March]. 

OMGs: Māori Gods in the 21st Century showcases images using lenticular technology to portray traditional Māori legends, in the past and present simultaneously. 

In this series of large scale images, Heke combines a contemporary perspective on rapidly changing Māori cultural traditions, with his love of New Zealand's natural environment. 

One of the works depicts the legendary figure of Māui, notorious for his ingenuity, leadership and daring. The traditional perspective shows him fishing up the North Island; the contemporary version is set on the steps of the Parliament Buildings, where Māui and his brothers take political centre stage.  

Heke said he wanted to give Māori gods a renewed presence in contemporary culture by modernising the characters and contextualising the stories, in order for them to remain alive and vibrant in our society. 

Currently a photographer and imaging specialist at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Heke’s work has featured in numerous publications and exhibitions. He was the first photographer to receive the Toi Iho trademark acknowledging quality in Māori art. 

OMGs: Māori Gods in the 21st Century is at Rotorua Museum until 26 May. Entry to the museum is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $8 for children. Free entry for local residents with ID.

Page reviewed: 01 Mar 2013 10:00am