"Yuki Kihara's artwork straddles an ambiguous field of binary forces - east/west, original/copy, male/female - and challenges the viewer as being complex and multiple, parody and reality. ‘Who am I, what am I, and what are you?' are questions that will never haunt or torment Kihara. Rather, they provide her with the material for her artwork. The possible answers to these questions are always limited and draw boundaries that Kihara will continue to cross in the expression of her existence."Jim Vivieaere

A native of Sāmoa, Yuki Kihara is a leading interdisciplinary artist whose work engages with a variety of social, political and cultural issues. Kihara critically engages with Pacific colonial history and representation as it intersects with race, gender, spirituality and sexual politics. 

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

Kihara’s work has been presented at the Asia Pacific Triennial (2002 & 2015), Auckland Triennial (2009), Sakahàn Quinquennial (2013), Daegu Photo Biennial (2014) and Honolulu Biennial (2017). In addition, Kihara’s works, performances, seminars & projects have been presented, among others, at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai; Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre; Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan; Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin; Musée du Quai Branly, Paris; Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Norway; Utah Museum of Fine Arts, USA; de Young Fine Art Museum of San Francisco, USA; Orange County Museum of Art, USA; Allen Memorial Museum of Art, USA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA; Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, New Caledonia; Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand; University of the South Pacific and the National University of Sāmoa to name a few.

Kihara is a recipient of numerous awards, among others, 2009 Creative New Zealand Arts Council (CNZ) Pacific Innovation & Excellence Award; New Generation Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand and the Paramount Award Winner of the 21st Annual Wallace Art Award both awarded in 2012.

In 2013 Kihara’s practice was the subject of a mid-career survey exhibition entitled Undressing the Pacific curated by the Hocken Collections, University of Otago (NZ). Undressing the Pacific toured across NZ including Wallace Arts Centre (2013); Te Manawa Museum (2014) and Waikato Museum (2015). A research symposium dedicated to Kihara’s practice was organised by the University of Otago to coincide with the mid-career survey. The symposium has led to a forthcoming publication edited by Art Historian Erika Wolf published in 2018/19.

In 2015, Kihara collaborated as artistic co-director alongside Berlin-based Choreographer Jochen Roller on a dance production entitled Them and Us which premiered at Sophiensaele Theater, Berlin, touring various venues across Europe including Kampnagel Center for Finer Arts, Hamburg. A chapter co-edited between Kihara & Roller exploring the cross-cultural process of Them and Us will be published in a forthcoming publication entitled ‘Undisciplining Dance’ published by Cambridge University Press, UK out in 2018.

Kihara was the recipient of 2017 Thonelaar van Raalte Research Fellowship from the National Museum of World Cultures (NMWC) in the Netherlands. As a result of the fellowship, Kihara will produce a new body of work commissioned by NMWC presented in the Netherlands in 2018.

As a curator, Kihara most recently curated a solo exhibition by artist & scholar Katerina Teaiwa entitled Project Banaba (2017) commissioned and presented at Carriageworks Sydney. The exhibition explored the relatively unknown Australian mining history in the Central Pacific region.

A publication entitled Fa’afafine Memoires featuring 20 autobiographical chapters from Fa’afafine & LGBTIQ Sāmoans based in Sāmoa, Amerika Sāmoa, Australia, Aotearoa NZ, Hawai’i & USA co-edited by Kihara and Dan Taulapapa McMullin will be published in 2018. The research & development phase of Fa’afafine Memoires was funded by CNZ in 2008.

In 2018, Kihara will lead a series of lectures & workshops as a guest faculty member at the Raw Material Company in Dakar, Senegal.

Yuki Kihara is currently represented by Milford Galleries Dunedin, NZ



An essay by Daniel Satele – 11 August, 2012
Shigeyuki speaks to Katerina M. Teaiwa about her work and how culture, history and gender influences her process
Shigeyuki Kihara: Living Photographs - at The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York City
An essay by Kylie Message, Research Fellow in the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research at the Australian National University.


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.
Shigeyuki Kihara was the recipient of one of three Arts Foundation New Generation Awards announced at the Macqaurie Private Wealth New Zealand Arts Awards, held in the Cloud, Auckland, on 2 October.
Talanoa; Walk the Talk VI by Shigeyuki Kihara. Commisisoned by the Auckland Triennial
The solo performance entitled Taualuga: The Last Dance (2006) by Samoan-born artist Shigeyuki Kihara is an attempt to communicate wih her ancestors in seeking solutions to today’s global issues that affect the small islands of the South Pacific region.
Film director Fiona Samuel, performance artist Shigeyuki Kihara and singer-songwriter Ruia Aperahama discuss their very different approaches to creating art with Paul Bushnell. Music critic Nick Bollinger also contributes.