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Meet artist Yuki Kihara, NZ's representative at Venice

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

To kick off 2021, Pātaka is hosting a gala cocktail event to celebrate the work of renowned international artist Yuki Kihara, Aotearoa New Zealand’s representative at the 59th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. The gala is the chance to meet Yuki and experience behind-the-scenes insights into her preparations for the Biennale Arte 2022 project, as well her exquisite siapo kimono in the solo exhibition A Song About Sāmoa. The Pātaka Foundation gala takes place on 19 February, tickets are on sale now.

An interdisciplinary artist and curator based in Sāmoa and New Zealand, Yuki Kihara will be the first Pacific, the first Asian and the first FaÊ»afafine artist to represent New Zealand at the Biennale Arte. The New Zealand project is curated by Natalie King with Pātaka’s Ioana Gordon-Smith as the Assistant Curator.

"The glass ceiling has been shattered," Yuki says of her appointment to represent New Zealand at the Biennale Arte 2022. "This moment is so much bigger than me, especially for the Pacific art community. I am humbled by this opportunity and the platform that enables me to further amplify my practice."

For those who can’t make the gala, join Yuki for her illustrated Artist Talk on the making of A Song About Sāmoa the following morning, Saturday 20th February at 11am, entry is free.

The International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia is the world’s largest and most prestigious international contemporary art exhibition. Held every two years, it runs for around six months and involves more than 80 countries. It attracts over 30,000 key international curators, critics, collectors and artists to the three-day preview period alone.

Of Japanese and Sāmoan descent, Yuki Kihara’s work is held in major galleries here and around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, British Museum and Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand to name a few. In A Song About Samoa, Yuki melds two culturally distinctive artforms-Sāmoan siapo and Japanese kimono. She views the merging of these two traditional textile practices as an expression of her literal embodiment of the Japanese-Sāmoan experience; and unpacks the relatively unknown history between Japan and the Pacific, and specifically Sāmoa. The project is the first instalment in an ongoing series that will eventually comprise 20 siapo kimono. Siapo is a hand-made barkcloth created from the lau u’a (bark of the paper mulberry tree), cuttings of which were brought to the Pacific from Southeast Asia thousands of years ago.

Pātaka Foundation Gala: An Evening with Yuki Kihara

Friday 19 February from 6pm, Pātaka: Art + Museum. Purchase tickets here $150 each, $250 for two.

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