Shigeyuki Kihara

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Shigeyuki (Yuki) Kihara is a contemporary artist and the first New Zealander to hold a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Titled Shigeyuki Kihara: Living Photographs, the exhibition opened from 7 October 2008 to 1 February 2009.[1] Kihara's self-portrait photographs in the exhibitions included nudes in provocative poses that portrayed colonial images of Polynesian women as sexual objects. Kihara is also a fa'afafine, the third gender of Samoa.[2] Born in Samoa, Kihara's mother is Samoan and her father Japanese.[3] Kihara immigrated to New Zealand at the age of sixteen to further her studies. She trained in fashion design at Wellington Polytech (now Massey University). In 1995, while still a student, Kihara's Graffiti Dress – Bombacific was purchased by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa).[4]


Kihara has exhibited her work extensively in New Zealand and internationally with solo exhibitions including: Fa'a fafine: In a manner of a woman, Sherman Galleries, Sydney, 2005; Vavau: Tales of Ancient Samoa, The Gus Fisher Gallery, University of Auckland, 2006; Undressing the Pacific, Hocken Collections' art gallery, University of Otago, 2013;[5] and A Study of a Samoan Savage at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, 2016.[6][7]


Kihara's work can be found in the public collections of ; Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand; Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand; The University of Auckland Art Collection, New Zealand; Massey University, New Zealand; Hocken Collections, Dunedin, New Zealand; Waikato Museum of Art and History, New Zealand; Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney Australia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Australia; Tjibaou Cultural Centre, New Caledonia; University of Cambridge Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, UK and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Performance Art[edit]

Kihara's solo performance entitled Taualuga; the last dance has been performed at the 4th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, Australia; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Musée du Quai Branly, Paris; and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand.


Shigeyuki Kihara was the recipient of the Creative New Zealand Emerging Pacific Artist Award at the 2003 Arts Pasifika Awards.[8] In 2007, she was also the first artist-in-residence at The Physics Rooms Art Residency in Christchurch. In 2012 she was awarded the Wallace Art Awards Paramount Award.

Further reading[edit]

Clifford, Andrew (ed), Yuki Kihara: A Study of a Samoan Savage, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, 2016 ISBN 9780473349684[9]

APT8: The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, 2015 ISBN 9781921503771

Brownson, Ron, Home AKL, Auckland Art Gallery, 2012 ISBN 9780864632906

External links[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Archived 16 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ [2] Archived 5 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "ShigeyukiKihara – Artist & Independent Curator | Art | Theatre | Multimedia | Performance". Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  4. ^ Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. "Graffiti dress – Collections Online – Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa". Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Shigeyuki Kihara: Undressing the Pacific", University of Otago. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  6. ^ Hurrell, John. "Yuki Kihara at Te Uru". EyeContact. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  7. ^ McNamara, TJ. "Galleries: A Parade of Identity". NZME. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Arts Pasifika Awards". Creative New Zealand. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Yuki Kihara: A Study of a Samoan Savage". Te Uru. Retrieved 14 September 2016.