Shigeyuki Kihara

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Shigeyuki 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; 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 in 2003. 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[8]

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. ^ "Yuki Kihara: A Study of a Samoan Savage". Te Uru. Retrieved 14 September 2016.