Shigeyuki Kihara

A native of Samoa, Yuki Kihara is an interdisciplinary artist whose work engages in a variety of social, political and cultural issues. Often referencing Pacific history, her work explores the varying relationships between gender, race, culture and politics.

In 2008, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York presented a solo exhibition of Kihara’s work titled Living Photographs featuring highlights of her interdisciplinary practice, followed by an acquisition of her works by the museum for their permanent collection. Kihara’s work has been presented at the Asia Pacific Triennial (2002), Auckland Triennial (2009), Sakahàn Quinquennial (2013) and the Daegu Photo Biennial (2014). Kihara is confirmed to participate in the Asia Pacific Triennial (2015) and the Honolulu Biennial (2016).

Kihara has also presented her works internationally, among others, at the Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art; Today Art Museum, Beijing; Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan; Singapore Art Museum; Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Musée du Quai Branly, Paris; Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Norway; Utah Museum of Fine Arts, USA; de Young Fine Art Museum of San Francisco, USA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Australia; and Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand.

In 2012, Kihara became the recipient of a New Generation Award (NZD$25,000) from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand and was the Paramount Award Winner of the 21st Annual Wallace Art Award.

In 2013, Kihara’s practice was the subject of a mid-career survey exhibition titled Undressing the Pacific, organised and presented by the Hocken Collections, University of Otago, New Zealand. A research symposium dedicated to Kihara’s practice was also held during the Undressing the Pacific exhibition, hosted by the Department of History and Art History, University of Otago. As a result of the research symposium, a monologue dedicated to Kihara’s practice is currently being edited by Dr Erika Wolf from the University of Otago. Undressing the Pacific is also a national touring imitative of the Hocken Collections, touring nationally across New Zealand to the Wallace Arts Centre (2013); Te Manawa Museum (2014) and Waikato Museum (2015).

In 2014, Kihara’s work was acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, both in the USA.

Kihara has conducted Artist in Residence programmes at the invitation of several international institutions, which involved her engaging in a variety of academic programmes from lecturing, mentoring and facilitating workshops, among others, at Massey University, Wellington (2013); Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada (2013); and the University of California, Santa Cruz, USA (2013). Kihara has conducted Artist in Residence programs internationally, among others, at Theater Hebbel um Ufer, Berlin (2011); International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York (2013) and recently at the National University of Samoa (2014).

In 2015, Kihara will collaborate as artistic co-director alongside Berlin-based choreographer Jochen Roller on a dance production titled Them and Us. Them and Us is a production by Jochen Roller in co-production with Sophiensaele Berlin, Forum-freies-theater Düsseldorf, Theater Freiburg and Roxy Basel, funded by the Mayor of Berlin, Capital Cultural Fund and Kanton Basel.

Also in 2015, Kihara will present her new photographic series entitled A study of a Samoan savage as a solo exhibition, to be premiered at Milford Galleries Dunedin (August 2015) with a subsequent exhibition at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Art Gallery (March 2016), accompanied by a catalogue.

Yuki Kihara is currently being represented by Milford Galleries, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Updated: May 2015

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