Three More Hours

Projected animation on smoke and Maori Karakia chant

Stealing the Senses 

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

New Plymouth, New Zealand

Dusk March 12, 2011

 

On March 12, Maori trickster-god Maui came alive as an apparition on a smoke cloud over the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. He dances and grapples at the setting sun, trying to pull it in and slow it down to give us just a few more hours in the day. The animated image of Maui uses traditional Maori motifs of strong graphic lines and dots. He comes and goes at the whim of the fickle smoke cloud, taunting the audience with his stomping feet while the rest of his image disappears into the sky until, suddenly, he becomes startlingly clear. Maori cultural advisor Wharehoka Wano was invited to collaborate on the work by composing a Karakia, Maori chant. Wharehoka performed the Karakia live at the event, calling, pleading and taunting Maui tiki tiki a Taranga to appear in the waning light of the sun.

This piece references the legend of the Maori in which Maui captured the sun at the request of his mother in order to grant her more working hours. This need for more time and the thought that just a few more hours are necessary to complete a days work inspired the artist summon the god herself. 

Maori Karakia chant composed and performed by Wharehoka Wano 

Maui tikitiki a Taranga kei hea koe? 
Tēnā, kāore e taea i āku mahi nui i te rangi kotahi. 
Me whakaroatia koe i te rā ki te toru hāora.
Me hoki mai koe, kia mau anō i a Tama nui i te rā.

Maui tikitiki a Taranga, where are you? 
I can't complete my many tasks in just one day.
You must lengthen the day by another three hours.
Return, so that you can again capture the Sun.

© 2019 Jennifer Wen Ma

Jennifer Wen Ma

Littlemeat Productions

New York, NY

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