salt 8: Shigeyuki Kihara

salt 8: Shigeyuki Kihara

Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Shigeyuki Kihara, Departure, Faleolo International Airport, 2013. From the series “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?.” C-print, 595 x 840 mm. Edition of 5 + 2 AP. Courtesy Shigeyuki Kihara Studio and Milford Galleries Dunedin, New Zealand.
August 8, 2013
salt 8: Shigeyuki Kihara

August 2, 2013–January 5, 2014

Utah Museum of Fine Arts
The University of Utah
Marcia and John Price Museum Building
410 Campus Center Drive
Salt Lake City, UT  84112
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10am–5pm, Wednesday 10am–8pm,
weekends 11am–5pm; closed Mondays and holidays

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) is pleased to present the photographic, video, and performance work of Shigeyuki Kihara (b. 1975, Samoa; lives in Auckland, New Zealand) in its eighth installment of the Museum’s series of exhibitions introducing new and innovative art from around the world. salt 8: Shigeyuki Kihara is the American debut of the artist’s newest body of work.

Kihara’s 2013 photographic series “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” tracks a colonial-era Samoan woman in black mourning attire as she visits different parts of present-day Samoa. Kihara, assuming the role of a stylized specter, employs the lens of Samoan history and contemporary culture to investigate issues affecting the global landscape, like the consequences of climate change and the interconnectivity of national economies.

Performing as the same woman in mourning, Kihara has consistently revisited the Samoan taualuga, reshaping the traditional dance into a poignant social commentary. In her 2012 videos Siva in Motion and Galu Afi; Waves of Fire, Kihara’s gestures, informed by the taualuga, collapse atop one another, interrelating the past, present, and future and echoing the complexities of colonialism that have shaped the Samoan people. Both works mourn the loss of ancient traditions as well as the loss of life in the devastating 2009 tsunami. The twisting and undulating rhythm of her multiplied wrists, palms, and fingers mimics powerful waves, yet the calming rhythm of the dance suggests an assurance in Earth’s cyclical nature and a belief in the resilience of an already tested people.

Shigeyuki Kihara’s work has been exhibited at museums in Australia, Canada, China, Great Britain, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Taiwan, and the United States. In 2008, Kihara’s solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was the museum’s first presentation of Samoan contemporary art. Her work has been represented at the Auckland Triennial, Asia Pacific Triennial, and the Sakahan Quinquennial and can be found in numerous public collections including Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, the Queensland Art Gallery, the University of Cambridge Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2012, Kihara was named the Paramount Award Winner of the 21st Annual Wallace Art Awards and won the New Generation Award from The Arts Foundation of New Zealand. In 2013, she had a solo exhibition at Milford Gallery Dunedin and a mid-career survey exhibition at the University of Otago that included an academic symposium devoted entirely to her work. In the fall of 2013, Shigeyuki Kihara will be an artist in residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York City.

The exhibition will occupy the salt gallery on the UMFA’s second floor as well as the adjacent Pacific Island gallery where Kihara will stage a photographic intervention with the permanent collection. Kihara’s public performance on October 23 will directly relate to the works on view. salt aims to reflect the international impact of contemporary art today, forging local connections to the global and bringing new and diverse artwork to the city that shares the program’s name. salt 8: Shigeyuki Kihara is curated by Whitney Tassie, UMFA curator of modern and contemporary art.

Download the salt 8 exhibition essay here:

Press contact:
Mindy Wilson, T 801 581 7328
[email protected]

Free public programming:
Shigeyuki Kihara performs Taualuga: The Last Dance
Wednesday, October 23, 6pm

Artist and curator conversation
Thursday, October 24, 4:30pm


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Utah Museum of Fine Arts
August 8, 2013

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