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Yuki Kihara: A Study of A Samoan Savage

Yuki Kihara: A Study of A Samoan Savage

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  • Thu 12 May ’16, 10:00am


Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, 420 Titirangi Road, Titirangi


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission


Te Uru

Artist Yuki Kihara consistently draws our attention to continuities between historical and contemporary colonial realities. Her latest body of work, A Study of a Samoan Savage is a response, in part, to recent perceptions of Polynesian men as powerful but primitive players in Rugby culture, a phenomenon that echoes 19th century treatment of Pacific peoples as athletic specimens, ripe for scientific study.

Large format photographs and a life-size projection are displayed alongside rare archives to critique the historical and ongoing fetishizing of Samoan men as specimens. Using a sequential photographic process, Kihara subverts the anthropological impulses that objectify, exoticise and eroticise the Pacific male body. Central to this new body of work is the figure of Polynesian demi-god, Maui. As Kihara reminds us, brown bodies are still being objectified and collected, but in these images, Maui claims the upper hand, defiantly looking back at us. He challenges our view and, in doing so, Kihara reclaims these images, making us re-examine who is looking at who, and what we think we see.

Presented in association with Auckland Arts Festival. Some images include nudity, parental guidance advised.

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