Manu kuíni

Laser-cut sculpture




This sculpture is a three-dimensional hybrid of Māori and Mexican art styles. In past artworks, there's already experimentation with Māori and Mexican shape language. That's why, for this art piece, both art styles that originated in opposite sides of the world are combines to create an original sculpture. Obtaining real reference is a vital part of the creative process of this piece because it is the best way to establish believability and tell compelling stories. This design starts by doing in-depth research about Māori art through original pictures from  New Zealand to, later on, make visits to Mexican folk-art museums and markets.

Māori art style reference

Mexican art style reference

After that, an analysis of the geometry and patterns that distinguish each art style takes place in order to define a consistent shape language. From there, draft sketches are made to combines both styles by referencing real cultures and traditions.

Shape language and draft pencil sketches

The final design shows on opposite horizontal sides the two national birds from Mexico and New Zealand, the golden eagle (in the left) and the kiwi bird (in right), while on opposite vertical sides, there are two representative plants from New Zealand and Mexico, the silver fern (in the top) and a type of cactus called "nopal" (in the bottom). The entire piece is covered by a combination of shapes and patterns that are representative of each culture. Later on, the design was digitalized and final details were added.

The design got separated into three separate layers, which were vectorized using to laser cut and engrave panels of silver and blue acrylic glass.

Finally, all the layers are placed one over the other to complete the sculpture. The colors of the sculpture make reference to how native civilizations from New Zealand and Mexico have a deep spiritual connection with the sea, and although it seems ironic that it is the Pacific Ocean that separates these cultures geographically, part of what allowed them to flourish in the first place was their ability to see water as a way to connect and unite people.


Art that creates experiences. This artwork contributes to this mission by encouraging the audience to experience different cultures, as getting exposed to cultural differences leads to personal growth; and personal growth can oftentimes become a spark that ignites the creativity we need to design a better world.