A 7m diameter, 360-degree screen synched with eight projectors is at the heart of a new permanent exhibition space at Tamaki Paenga Hira/Auckland War Memorial Museum in Parnell.
Opening on March 24, Tamaki Herenga Waka: Stories of Auckland focuses on Auckland places and people with more than 60 stories, more than 500 objects and 25 films developed to celebrate the diversity of the people and places making up the Auckland region.
"Tāmaki Makaurau is not only New Zealand's largest city, it is our country's most culturally diverse. We are home to over 120 different ethnicities," says Dr David Gaimster, chief executive of Auckland War Memorial Museum. "Visitors want to see their own lived experience of Auckland and of being Aucklanders. This gallery will be a place for audiences to reflect on the past, present and future of Auckland and their place within this."
Tāmaki Herenga Waka means "the gathering place of many waka" reflecting the diverse cultures of Auckland and uses innovative digital technologies to engage new audiences, a key feature being kei konei koe You are Here, an audio-visual experience that offers an immersive introduction to Tāmaki. Visitors are invited on a journey through time and space, encountering Auckland from different and surprising perspectives.
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"By applying innovative digital technology to showcase our collections, we are able to cement Auckland Museum's role as a place that inspires curiosity," says Gaimster.
The 580 square metres of gallery space is divided into seven sections across four gallery spaces in 10 languages. Visitors can choose how they experience the exhibition with multiple entry and exit points, using thematic design rather than traditional linear narrative.
The new exhibition has been funded largely through the generosity of many individuals, and organisations including Lottery Significant Projects; Sir John Logan Campbell Residuary Estate; Stout Trust and MW & MA Durling Family.
Tāmaki Herenga Waka: Stories of Auckland
Opens Wednesday March 24, free with museum entry.