May 18, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Maori animators light up Rotorua buildings

2 min read

Rotorua animators have been lighting up buildings around town by projecting their stories on to walls – and they have big plans for the future.

(NZME, 2017)

Animation company 4CB has not been around long, but has already caused a stir around town with its latest work.

Animator Potaua Biasiny-Tule said the company was dedicated to the memory of their grandfathers in B Company of the Maori Battalion.

“They inspired us to develop a new Maori network of content creators. We use them as source of inspiration and pride to tell our stories.”

When Biasiny-Tule took to Facebook Live on Saturday night, as the projections went up on the walls of the Rotorua Museum, people began jumping in their cars and heading down.

“We didn’t get permission from the council, but they’ve seen it on Facebook and have been on the phone to us every day,” he said.

Potaua Biasiny-Tule, front, and the team at 4CB have been projection mapping Rotorua buildings. Photo/Stephen Parker

Biasiny-Tule said Mayor Steve Chadwick was behind the concept and wanted to see them do “something big”.

“Light is love, it’s bringing people back to these old buildings,” he said.

“When you have moments like this, the families come together and start sharing the stories.”

The team plans to continue growing its projection mapping.

“We can use content to engage, to inspire, to tell the stories,” Biasiny-Tule said.

“It just adds experiences, there are so many new experiences we could bring to Rotorua.”

As the business grows they hope to bring more local creatives on board.

“We just have to back ourselves and remember that in Rotorua there is talent.”

While the museum was an “obvious choice” for the first building fellow animator Tony James said the team hoped to light up Tamatekapua.

“Digital storytelling on the marae,” he said.

“The plan is for digital Maori tourism.

“We want to engage with our local community. When it goes dark, locals go home, it’s trying to encourage them to come into our digital space.”

James said the Maori patterns were thousands of years old and had their own stories to tell.

“We’re at the tipping point, just waiting for investment.”

Animator Quinn Nahi said what people had seen so far was just the preliminary work.

“Rotorua has seen nothing yet. I’d say there’ll be a few more guerrilla installations soon.”

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