Yuki Kihara

Work History

Two Fa'afafine (after Gauguin)
Two Fa'afafine (after Gauguin) (2020)
Kamau Taurua Quarantine Island
Kamau Taurua Quarantine Island (2021)
EFKS Church, Maraenui
EFKS Church, Maraenui (2017)
Whakatu Freezing Works, Heretaunga
Whakatu Freezing Works, Heretaunga (2017)
サ-モアのうた  (Sāmoa no Uta) A Song About Sāmoa - Fanua (Land)
サ-モアのうた (Sāmoa no Uta) A Song About Sāmoa - Fanua (Land) (2021)
My Samoan Girl
My Samoan Girl (2005/20)
Agelu i Tausi Catholic Church After Cyclone Evan, Mulivai Safata
Agelu i Tausi Catholic Church After Cyclone Evan, Mulivai Safata (2013)
Aquatic Centre, Tuanaimato
Aquatic Centre, Tuanaimato (2013)
Nose Width with Vernier Caliper
Nose Width with Vernier Caliper (2015)
Maui Descending a Staircase I (After Duchamp)
Maui Descending a Staircase I (After Duchamp) (2015)
Invocation (2016)
Le Loimata o Apaula; Tears of Apaula
Le Loimata o Apaula; Tears of Apaula (2004)

Artist Information

Yuki Kihara - New Zealand’s 2022 Venice Biennale representative - is an interdisciplinary artist of Japanese and Sāmoan descent whose work seeks to challenge dominant and singular historical narratives by exploring the intersectionality between identity politics, decolonization and ecology through visual arts, dance, and curatorial practice.

In 2008, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York presented a solo exhibition of Kihara’s work entitled Living Photographs followed by an acquisition of her works by the museum for their permanent collection.

Kihara’s video performance artworks, photographic series Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? and lenticular bodies of work Te Taenga Mai o Salome and her 2021 series Quarantine Islands, feature Kihara in the guise of a fictitious persona named 'Salome' – “a Sāmoan woman resurrected from the 19th century - inspired by a photograph entitled Samoan Halfcaste (1886) taken by New Zealand colonial photographer Thomas Andrew. Kihara uses photography to capture heightened moments in ephemeral performances, which re-frame dominant histories and bring into the present (often) untold narratives.” (1)

Since 2017 Kihara has been a research fellow at the National Museums of World Cultures in the Netherlands exploring “issues of cross-cultural exchanges and representations including cultural identities in the contemporary and Dutch constructions of the Pacific.” (2)

In 2019 Kihara presented the first iteration of her five year project サ-モアのうた (Sāmoa no uta) A Song About Sāmoa comprising traditional furisode kimono, fashioned from siapo and exploring cultural myths, trans-Pacific connections and cultural translations.

Kihara's work can be found in national and international collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the British Museum, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland Art Gallery Toi Tāmaki, Ryerson Image Centre, Canada and Giorgio Armani. Her works have been presented at the Asia Pacific Triennale (2002 and 2015), Auckland Triennale; (2009), Sakahan Quinquennial (2013), Daegu Photo Biennale (2014), Honolulu Biennale (2017), Bangkok Art Biennale (2018), Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts Taiwan (2021),  Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, (2021) and Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin, (2022).
1. Kihara, Artist Statement, 2021
2. Research Centre for Material Cultures,, 2021


 A brief overview of the career of Yuki Kihara, New Zealand's representative at the 59th Venice Biennale 2022
 Yuki Kihara speaks to Stephen Higginson about her iconic Fa'afafine series. Video production: Ross Wilson
Yuki Kihara talks to Vanessa Jones about the making of her new work, サ-モアのうた (Sāmoa no uta) A Song About Sāmoa
Video production: Ross Wilson

Solo Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions