NZ Museum Piece Blends Modern Tech With Traditional Maori Cloaks

March 22, 2012 by Dave Haynes

Tony Scott of Wallflower Advanced Digital Signage in Auckland, New Zealand (bucket list destination) sent along a note and case study link to an interesting museum project that blends traditional Maori culture with very modern technology.

Artist TeRongo Kirkwood was commissioned by Creative NZ to create a new body of work, representing the Kahu or Maori Cloak, in contemporary form. Ka Awatea: The story of Life through Light, is the resulting work. The Kahu, created with a combination of woven and glass elements, each represent a stage of life from a spiritual perspective.

The challenge was to develop an exhibit to showcase the four cloaks in an innovative fashion utilising technology to deliver an immersive experience. The Cloaks are mounted on a circular core centre. Each cloak is lit from within and without, the lighting following a programmed pattern.

A soundcape subtly sets the mood within the exhibition room, whilst each cloak emanates its own sounds, adding to the whole. Three cloaks project videos of words and phrases onto surrounding walls. The combination of the works, Audio, Video and lighting, creates an incredibly powerful experience.

Scott says museums more normally use multiple DVD machines, and synchronized audio devices. For this, they instead used Wallflower’s made in NZ solution.  “In short, Wallflower is the perfect solution for Museum AV and lighting based exhibitions,” says Matt Smith, the AV consultant for the project. “As a user it just works. The great thing was that the system is so easy and intuitive to use, and there’s great support from the company if you have any queries. From the time we turned it on, ’til now, Wallflower has run the system flawlessly without one single glitch.”

The set-up involves Wallflower software loaded onto a standard PC, a Matrox video Card, and M Audio 8 channel Delta audio card, The video goes to each of three Mitsubishi projectors, and there are six channels of audio.


  1. Tony Scott says:


    Thank you for posting the refernce to our installation. We do tend to work with many unusual applications of DS. Mainly this is because, as a small player, we are approached by users whose requirements are too small or specialised for the major suppliers to be bothered with.

    An example of this was an Australian court complex whose requirement included the need for it to be operated with no additional work for their staff. To deliver this our package receives a copy of the court fixture email they normally send to newspapers each day. A process extracts the hearing information, formats it as a graphic, measures it see how closely it fits the 6 screens it is displayed on and if necessary reruns the extract with different business rules until an optimum fit is achieved.

    Your column is always of great inerest to us as it provides a truly unbiased view of the DS market with no allegiance to particualr suppliers.

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