"Two brightly coloured ribbons make up this suffrage sculpture, encouraging people to work together to move the ribbons at the same time."
This two-part kinetic sculpture represents the journey towards women's suffrage through the rhythmic, flowing movement of ribbons – a symbol commonly used by suffragettes in the 1800s. Commissioned by Auckland Council to celebrate the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in Aotearoa, the work depicts one yellow and one purple twirled steel ribbon, extending up into the sky.
Each sculpture has an individual crank handle that can be manually turned to create graceful movements in the air. Because each ribbon is operated separately, this interactive work requires two people to work collaboratively to move both ribbons at the same time.
As well as being an artist, Jae Kang is a horticulturist based in the Franklin Local Board area. She took further inspiration for Mahi Tahi from the horticultural industry, where a diverse ethnic group of growers still work the land together in a hands-on way.
"The concept is of working hands-on and working together," explains Kang. "Even though there had been a movement for women's rights across northern Europe and the United States, it was New Zealand women who actually started working hands-on to achieve their suffrage rights for the first time in the world."
Pukekohe Town Square, King Street, Pukekohe