Private View

Yuki Kihara

Culture for Sale (2012)

artwork particulars

 Yuki Kihara, Culture for Sale (2012), interactive video installation, 4 channel video, coin actuators, sound, edition of 3 + 1 ap

individual videos

 video 1 - Mary Pakileata Tomasi Greatz - 42 seconds
 video 2 - Georgina Siaosi - 37 seconds
 video 3 - Tito Schmidt-Stowers - 31 seconds
 video 4 - Helen Talipeau - 44 seconds

Culture for Sale Documentary

Culture for Sale documentary commissioned by Campbelltown Arts Centre and 4a Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for Sydney Festival 2012. Directed by Yuki Kihara. Edited by Kirsty MacDonald.

exhibition text

In August 2011, artist Yuki Kihara travelled to Germany with the support of the Visitor's program from the Goethe-Institut to investigate museum archives held across Germany to research materials related to the German administration of Samoa from 1900 till 1914. The research followed the traces of historical footprints of several groups of Samoans including men, women and small children who travelled and toured extensively across cities in Germany including Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne where they were exhibited in a zoo - a practise commonly known as ‘Völkerschau’ - a popular form of exotic entertainment and colonial theatre at the time.

Conceptually informed by the Samoan participation in the ‘Völkerschauen’, Culture for Sale is the title of the interdisciplinary work which features a live public performance and video installation conceived by Kihara. The live performance featured Samoan dancers who were instructed only to perform briefly when they were paid money by the audience. The video installation echoed the performance where the audience were able to 'pay-per-view', viewing the footage of the performance by inserting a 20c coin into the coin slot placed next to each monitor presented as a 'vending machine'.

Culture for Sale explores the commercialization of Samoan culture in the so called ‘post-colonial’ era in the wake of the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Samoa in June 2012.