Artwork Name: Tukuna Mai Te Ahi
Artist Name: Jacob Chrisohoou
Location: 1135 Eruera Street
Medium: Painted mural
According to Māori, when high priest Ngātoroirangi arrived in Aotearoa from Hawaiki, he was struck by the extreme cold of the weather. He called out to his sisters Te Pupu and Te Hoata who sped to him from Hawaiki in their fire form.
When they emerged from under the ground, they created geysers, hot pools and volcanoes. According to the traditional story, that is why today Rotorua has such a geothermal landscape.
In his mural, Jacob has shown the sisters enveloping their brother in smoke and steam as they rescue him.
It is this version of the engaging traditional story, that artist, Jacob Chrisohoou, chose to represent for the ‘Mud and Steam’ Rotorua Mural Symposium, 2017.
Using spray paint to create the work, Chrisohoou has created a hazy, soft effect that makes the steam seem real as it swirls about the sisters’ faces. Chrisohoou was awarded the People’s Choice Award for this work at the 2017 Mural Symposium.
Credit: Jacob Chrisohoou, Tukuna Mai Te Ahi, 2017. Commissioned by Rotorua Lakes Council.
About the artist: Jacob Chrisohoou (Ngāti Porou) is a self-taught artist who began experimenting with street art through graffiti.
“The streets were my teacher and that culture heavily influenced me growing up. My art is a response to the things I feel, have seen, experienced and can connect to.”
Around 2008, Jacob began taking art more seriously, experimenting with airbrush, oils, inks and acrylics. Chrisohoou now has several murals around his hometown of Rotorua.