Yuki Kihara

Samoa / Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1975
Samoan

After Tsunami Galu Afi, Lalomanu (2013)

Dressed in Victorian black, Salome laments the impact of colonial histories on Samoan life and culture. A persona developed by Yuki Kihara, she is like a spectre or apparition, created in response to past events.These works are part of a series in which Salome pays witness to Samoa in the aftermath of 2012’s Cyclone Evan. In each work, Salome is positioned with her back or profile to the viewer, guiding our gaze towards landscape, environment, monuments and architecture – opening a space for us to enter. We are Salome’s guests, but she controls our gaze. We are not witness to people in states of shock or trauma, nor are we invited to view panoramas of devastation. Instead she performs in a quiet way, slowing things down and letting the juxtaposition between the dress, the landscape and architecture fill each image with a complex range of senses, ideas and emotions.

(Te Wheke, 2020)