Maori artist’s work displayed in New York

A Manawatu artist now based in Japan has had his work splashed over the digital screens in New York’s Times Square.

Johnson Witehira, along with fellow New Zealand artists Elspeth Hoskin and Hayley Heartbreak, earned the right to have their work displayed at the famous site today thanks to a competition by infrastructure company Chorus.

Witehira specialises in Maori graphic design and was blown away by the opportunity.

‘‘It’s just nice seeing my work, as a Maori designer and artist getting worldwide exposure. Awesome representing my Whanganui, Taumarunui and Feilding whanau.’’

Witehira is a former Feilding High School, Whanganui School of Design and Massey University student.

Twelve billboards were hired, including the Nasdaq, ABC, Fox and Sony and 24 digital screens, to display the New Zealand-inspired designs transmitted by fibre optic cables from New Zealand to show the potential for ultrafast broadband.

In two half hour slots the work of three winning New Zealand designers, including two Wellingtonians, and ten finalists took over the screens in one of the largest synchronised screenings ever to take place in the famous New York City advertising spot.

The winners each received $5000 prizemoney and a trip to New York City to see the display.

© Fairfax NZ News

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