Article – Patrick Rose
Award-winning New Zealand musician Tiki Taane today launched an interactive music, art & film exhibition in the pop up gallery ‘ArtBox’ on the Queens Wharf in Auckland.Award-winning New Zealand musician Tiki Taane today launched an interactive music, art & film exhibition in the pop up gallery ‘ArtBox’ on the Queens Wharf in Auckland.
Coinciding with the release of his groundbreaking new album ‘Tiki Taane: With Strings Attached’, the installation questions the role of the artist in society, reflects Tiki’s mixed Maori and Pakeha background, and showcases his belief that ‘everyone has a voice and a responsibility to use it’. The name of the show references the Martin Luther King Jr. quote ‘our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter’.
Invited by ArtBox Curator Ella Rose to make images representing his core beliefs, Tiki expresses his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), his feelings about controversial deep sea oil drilling in NZ, and other pressing issues facing the nation in the run up to the next election.
The installation marks the latest expression of Taane’s growing political engagement as he looks to inspire his supporters to get involved, register to vote and play a role in New Zealand’s democracy.
“It’s time for everyone to speak up about what they believe in,” said Taane. “We’ve got to use the power of the Information Age to bring young people into the political discussion. The consequences of sitting on the sidelines with things like TPP or deep sea oil could be devastating.”
Taane has commandeered the ArtBox that has presented many installations over the past year. Calling it the “Tiki Box”, the modified shipping container invites visitors in to watch a collection of documentary films and music videos interspersed with a series of prints of the artist in different incarnations.
The installation continues outside on the Queen’s Wharf, with Phantom Billstickers sponsoring the powerful images of Tiki, framed with his key messages and interests as an artist. Artists Erika Pearce and Sofia Minson have each created a 40 foot painting along either side of the innovative pop-up gallery space.
“The show reflects my diversity, with my Maori heritage and my Pakeha roots,” said Taane. “Taken as a whole, it gives a glimpse into my journey, my ups and downs, and it gives people a sense of why I’m passionate about getting young people involved as activists.”
The showcase of the installation is a free viewing of the hour long film ‘With Strings Attached’ by TVNZ, where Taane leads a full orchestra with a kapa haka group in a recent groundbreaking concert. The documentary explores some of the key moments in Taane’s life and his formation as an artist and political activist.
Taane is involved in a range of causes in his personal life and through the sales of his music. Starship Children’s Hospital, Paw Justice, Y for Youth, and Global Poverty Project are all charities he has worked to support in recent years.
In addition to the engaging content of music videos and orchestral concerts that make up the bulk of the installation, Taane has also invited his fans and supporters to leave messages about ‘the things that matter’ to them.
“This is not just about what I believe,” said Taane. “I’m trying to show the younger generation that we have to take a stand for what we believe in. It’s so important for everyone to find their own voice, and express with courage what they will fight for.”
The exhibition by Tiki Taane will be on display in the ‘TikiBox’ on the Queens Wharf until late March. A number of events, public interactions, impromptu performances and appearances by Taane are also planned.