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The Art of Shigeyuki Kihara:
A Research Symposium

Saturday, 4 May, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

The Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum, Dunedin

This event is free of charge and open to the public.

Held in conjunction with the mid-career survey exhibition Shigeyuki Kihara: Undressing the Pacific, at the Hocken Collections (20 April to 8 June), this symposium will broadly explore Kihara’s creative work, artistic development, and the critical issues that it raises from diverse disciplinary perspectives.

The symposium will feature two keynote presentations. Ron Brownson, the Senior Curator of New Zealand & Pacific Art at the Auckland Art Gallery will present “Shigeyuki Kihara and the Shadow of Photography”. Dr. Katerina Teaiwa, Convenor of Pacific Studies at Australian National University will speak on The Art of Talanoa: Dialogue, Provocation and ‘the Space between’ in Kihara's Work.” The remaining speakers represent a diverse range of disciplinary approaches and cultural backgrounds, including Japan, Samoa, Australia, and the United States.

The recent award of the Wallace Arts Trust Paramount Award and a New Generation Award from the Arts Foundation signals Shigeyuki Kihara’s growing recognition as a significant international artist, whose dynamic career includes a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2008), performances staged at the Musée du Quai Branly, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, and artworks featured in the Asia Pacific Triennial, Auckland Triennial and the upcoming Sakahan Quinquennial held at the National Gallery of Canada in May 2013.

Of Samoan and Japanese heritage, Kihara interrogates the ways that art, performance, and the public interact and prompt dialogue about understanding the complexities of humanity. Her oeuvre includes photographs, dance performance, video installations, and interactive community performances. Kihara’s work comments on issues such as colonialism, European representations of Indigenous peoples, gender, globalization, sexual minorities in the Pacific, and tourism.

This event is sponsored by the Cultures, Histories and Identities in Film, Media and Literature Research Network and hosted by the Department of History & Art History, the University of Otago. 

For more information, contact Associate Professor Erika Wolf (

To download the Sym[posium Schedule, click here.