Tokotoko TaiwanThe New Zealand Pavilion for the country’s Guest of Honour presence at the Taipei International Book Fair (11 – 16 February) is intended to provide homage to literature around the theme ‘open hearts, open minds, open books.’
The design incorporates strong Māori cultural elements which serve to connect the indigenous culture of the Taiwanese people with New Zealand.
Architect Andrew Patterson says the form of three Māori orators’ sticks or Tokotokos reflect that in the Māori tradition of oral literature, the Tokotoko is a symbol of the authority to speak.
The three Taipei Tokotokos are cardboard, laser-cut into contemporary New Zealand patterns and stained with red ink to provide space for listeners around a central orator, so in this case the authority to speak lies as much with the listener as the orator and a conversation ensues. The space features 18 publisher stands and accommodates up to 100 people as a reading area or a seated author event, and up to 230 people as a standing event space,
For up-to-date news on New Zealand’s Guest of Honour programme including the latest on the Visiting Author Programme visit our TIBE blog here.