Current Exhibitions

Yuki Kihara

Paradise Camp
59th Venice Biennale

23 Apr - 27 Nov 2022

Exhibition Works

Two Fa'afafine (after Gauguin)
Two Fa'afafine (after Gauguin) (2020)
Nafea e te Fa'aipoipo? When Will You Marry? (after Gauguin)
Nafea e te Fa'aipoipo? When Will You Marry? (after Gauguin) (2020)
Fa'afafine with Children (after Gauguin)
Fa'afafine with Children (after Gauguin) (2020)
The Wizard (after Gauguin)
The Wizard (after Gauguin) (2020)
Genesis 9:16 (after Gauguin)
Genesis 9:16 (after Gauguin) (2020)
Si' ou Alofa Maria: Hail Mary (after Gauguin)
Si' ou Alofa Maria: Hail Mary (after Gauguin) (2020)
Two Fa'afafine on the Beach (after Gauguin)
Two Fa'afafine on the Beach (after Gauguin) (2020)
Two Fa'afafine Going to Church (after Gauguin)
Two Fa'afafine Going to Church (after Gauguin) (2020)
Three Fa'afafine (after Gauguin)
Three Fa'afafine (after Gauguin) (2020)
Spirit of the Ancestors Watching (after Gauguin)
Spirit of the Ancestors Watching (after Gauguin) (2020)
Fonofono o le Nuanua: Patches of the Rainbow (after Gauguin)
Fonofono o le Nuanua: Patches of the Rainbow (after Gauguin) (2020)
First Impressions: Paul Gauguin
First Impressions: Paul Gauguin (2018)
Paul Gauguin with a Hat (after Gauguin)
Paul Gauguin with a Hat (after Gauguin) (2020)
Talanoa Between Yuki Kihara and Paul Gauguin
Talanoa Between Yuki Kihara and Paul Gauguin (2022)
Paradise Camp
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Paradise Camp (2022)

Introduction to Paradise Camp

Paradise Camp comprises twelve tableau photographs featuring a cast of Sāmoan Fa'afafine (Sāmoa’s ʻthird gender’), repurposing and upcycling paintings by the late post-impressionist French artist Paul Gauguin believed to have been inspired by Sāmoa.

Kihara’s performative photography is presented against a vast wallpaper of a landscape decimated by the 2009 tsunami, and alongside First Impressions: Paul Gauguin - a five-part talk-show series written and directed by Yuki Kihara, commissioned by Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen in 2018, where a group of Fa'afafine comment wittily on select Gauguin paintings.

Inspired by the faleaitu (house of spirits) skits performed in Sāmoan, Kihara also casts herself as Gauguin in Paul Gauguin with a Hat (after Gauguin). In this ingenious role reversal, Kihara is transformed via silicone prosthetics, costume, moustache and wig into the 19th century French painter who spent ten years in French Polynesia.

The exhibition also features a “Vārchive” – a term coined by Kihara that uses the Sāmoan concept of Vā to describe her relationship with her archive of research. The artist says, “My Vārchive includes personal research, rare books by 19th century explorers, colonial portraits, pamphlets, news items, a geological sculpture and activist material. It provides both a backstory of how Paradise Camp came into being, and as a living entity, it helps to provide new meaning in the present and future.”

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First Impressions: Paul Gauguin

  
Trailer for First Impressions: Paul Gauguin, 2018. Commissioned by Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Written and directed by Yuki Kihara.
 

Talanoa Between Yuki Kihara and Paul Gauguin

 
Excerpt from Talanoa Between Yuki Kihara and Paul Gauguin, 2022. Courtesy of Yuki Kihara and New Zealand at Venice. Written and directed by Yuki Kihara. Edited by Kirsty MacDonald.
 

Paradise Camp In the Making

 
Making of Paradise Camp (2020). Courtesy of Yuki Kihara and New Zealand at Venice. Edited by Kirsty MacDonald.
 
Making of Paul Gauguin with a Hat (2020). Directed by Yuki Kihara. Edited by Kirsty MacDonald.
 

Further Links

Yuki Kihara Solo Exhibition Overview