Shigeyuki Kihara: Living Photographs

Shigeyuki Kihara: Living Photographs
7 October, 2008 - 1 February, 2009
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

In an outstanding career move, Auckland-based artist Shigeyuki Kihara will encounter one of the world’s foremost art institutions, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, when her solo exhibition opens in October.

The exhibition ‘Shigeyuki Kihara: Living Photographs’ is an early survey of her dynamic career and will feature selections from four of her photographic series: ‘Black Sunday’, ‘Fa’a Fafine: In a Manner of a Woman’, ‘Fale Aitu: House of Spirits’ and ‘Vavau: Tales from Ancient Samoa’.

The Metropolitan Museum is the same venue that hosted the historic Te Maori exhibition in 1984. Twenty-four years later, this young Samoan-born multimedia and performance artist has secured her own wall space in the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing of the museum. It will be the first solo exhibition to be held by an artist from New Zealand or the South Pacific region. Kihara’s work is full of references to Samoa – whether from history, memories, traditional dance forms, or portrayals of great individuals and characters from legend.

Kihara, of Japanese and Samoan parentage, came to New Zealand in 1989. Kihara was the recipient of the Emerging Pacific Artist Award from Creative New Zealand, the Arts Council of New Zealand, in 2003. Since then, Kihara has been exhibiting internationally and Kihara’s curatorial project ‘Hand in Hand’ co-curated by Jenny Fraser is currently showing at the University of Tasmania Plimsoll Gallery, Tasmania, Australia, until 3 October 2008.

Kihara’s critically-acclaimed solo performance entitled ‘Taualuga; the last dance’ has been performed at the 4th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, Australia; Haus der kulteren der welt, Berlin; Musee du Quai Branly, Paris; and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand.

Along with the exhibition, Kihara will give an artist talk about her work and will perform her enthralling performance piece ‘Taualuga; the last dance’ to a New York audience.

The opening function on 7 October at The Metropolitan Museum of Art will bring together the New York art world along with dignitaries from New Zealand, Samoa and other South Pacific nations.

Independent documentary director Kirsty MacDonald will follow Kihara to New York to document this important encounter.

Special Events held in association with the exhibition

Sunday at the Met - 'Taualuga; the last dance'
Live performance by Shigeyuki Kihara
October 19, 2008, 3pm
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

'Taualuga; the last dance' – An Artist’s Talk
Artist talk by Shigeyuki Kihara
October 25, 2008, 7pm
Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall, Uris Center for Education

For more information, please visit www.metmuseum.org.