Working across a range of media including photography, performance and video, Yuki Kihara has built a comprehensive body of work and curatorial practice that examines gender roles, consumerism, (mis)representation, and the past, present and future societal issues from colonial and post-colonial perspectives.
The photographic series Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? uses setting and character to make pointed allusions to the social, religious, economic and political issues facing Western Samoa in particular, and the Pacific at large. Referencing the staged photographic postcards of the ‘South Seas,’ Kihara turns the camera on her country’s colonial past, the impact of burgeoning globalisation, ideas of indigeneity and the role of government in an independent Samoa. Kihara “unpacks the myth” of her country as an untouched Pacific paradise as seen through the eyes of colonial powers and tourist photographs. (1)
Yuki Kihara is firmly positioned as one of New Zealand, and the Pacific’s, most interesting and innovative artists. She regularly exhibits, performs, and lectures at institutions in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. Her works can be found in numerous national and international collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney), the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and the Auckland Art Gallery.
1. Yuki Kihara, Artist statement, January 2013.