Nearly every child in New Zealand grows up listening to the stories of Maori legends. It might be said that the stories of Maui Tikitiki-a-Taranga
are some of the most popular. In some of the stories Maui is cheeky, curious, and his inquisitive nature means that he goes on really awesome and dangerous adventures. When he's old enough Maui starts to question his origins and begins to figure out his own identity. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the legends of Maui continue to influence our lives; like Maui, we are discovering what we find unique about ourselves, what we can create that expresses our own individual New Zealand identity. David Hakaraia
amalgamates his Maori heritage with contemporary designs and practises. The result is a fascinating synthesis: Harakaria creates works that have a "design approach that is distinctly his own"
, they are a combination of Maori storytelling and modern techniques through the use of a variety of media. David is of Ngapuhi and Ngati Paoa descent and grew up in Tokoroa and Kororareka. He graduated with a Masters of Design with Distinction
at Victoria University School of Architecture and Design in 2011. David's aim is "to develop new ways to express my history by marrying contemporary design technologies with the tradition of Maori story-telling. My hope is that this historically and culturally grounded approach will offer new ways with which contemporary Maori may connect with their history".
David's works are obviously reminiscent of his Maori heritage, as seen in his Waka Whakaka
, which also combines pacific and western cultures. Intricate koru designs are magnificently laser-etched on a wooden elliptical shape. When switched on, light streams through the cuts, making the patterns on the Waka Whakaka glow. David's other light, Mahuika
, is directly influenced by Maori legend: it is based on one of the stories of Maui, when he goes to the underworld to get fire from the old kuia, Mahuika. The light is made of porcelain and native timber. Mahuika looks like a multi-coloured flame, and is both bright and delicate at the same time. And pretty soon David is going to become a cleverbastard (which we are very excited about). We are looking forward to having a new and extremely innovative designer join our team. Story by Jane Yonge
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