Media Release | Tuesday 18 August 2020

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki today launches an update for its virtual tour platform that includes a fully translated te reo Māori experience and audio tours.

The virtual tour of major exhibition, Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan, has been updated to now include audio tours and a te reo Māori experience. Available at, the immersive, interactive online experience means the exhibition – forced to close five days early as part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 – continues to be accessible to audiences right around the country and beyond.

Auckland Art Gallery Director Kirsten Paisley says the Gallery wants to see more programming available in te reo Māori.

‘Making te reo Māori a more accessible and widely used language in everyday settings, not just in educational contexts, is essential to normalising its use. We hope this is a unique opportunity for speakers, learners and those building confidence in the language to have an engaging visual arts experience delivered entirely in te reo Māori.’

Both English and te reo Māori versions of the tour now include an audio guide too, delivering further access to ancient Japanese art through spoken-word curator insights.

Enchanted Worlds was the first exhibition of original paintings by the leading artists and schools of Japan’s Edo period (1603–1868) to be held in Aotearoa New Zealand. This new virtual tour platform – which takes these exquisite paintings from the walls of the Gallery and presents them online for people to explore from home – was developed during the Gallery’s temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year.

Viewed via a web browser on computer, tablet or smartphone device, users are able to choose between three different tour experiences: a family tour with fun facts and art-making activities; a curator’s highlight tour that covers insights and stories on Edo-period poetry, music, theatre, fashion and visual arts; and an in-depth exhibition experience with extended artwork labels.

Using navigation tools to virtually ‘walk’ through gallery spaces, users can explore Enchanted Worlds via high-resolution digital images offering close-up views of the intricate, hand-painted details of over 70 exquisite and rare artworks, including delicate silk paintings, precious scrolls and vibrant folding screens.

For more information, images and interview requests contact:
Samantha McKegg
Communications Officer, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
M +64 21 548 480 | E   

Press release - Auckland Art Gallery launches te reo Māori virtual tour
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