Small Toki with Red Cord
Small Toki - New Zealand Pounamu
Pendant approx 5cm x 2cm
Artist: Jen Hung
The Toki is the Maori tribal symbol of strength. Its shape represents an axe head. This carving tool based symbol resembles determination, control, strength and honour. It was traditionally carved in stone or greenstone and was passed down as an heirloom.
Jen Hung, originally from Taiwan, studied art history at University but had never
carved stone until attending Tai Poutini Polytechnics jade and hard stone carving course in 2004.
Jen loves listening to classical music when carving: As I listen to music and draw, I can see the flowing lines. The music inspires me.
Other inspiration comes from Maori art, the New Zealand bush, scenery and the
natural environment. Her art echoes the abstracted shapes of plants, water currents and landforms.
Even the smallest carved stone work takes many hours to craft, but Jen cannot
put a time on how long any one piece took her to make, designing, then grinding
and polishing in her home workshop before plaiting the string.
When you are making these, you are not thinking about value or time. You are just thinking how to make it beautiful.