3 Oct 2019

Venice Biennale 2021: Samoan artist to be Pasifika first for NZ

2:18 pm on 3 October 2019

Samoa's Yuki Kihara is to be the first Pasifika artist to represent New Zealand at the world's most prestigious art show.

Yuki Kihara

Yuki Kihara Photo: Scott Lowe

But she said showing at the Venice Biennale in 2021 would not change her Samoan world view.

Her work has featured in galleries around the world including a solo show at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008.

New Zealand is contributing over $US500,000 towards Yuki Kihara's participation at the next Biennale which runs for six months from May every two years.

Kihara hints at her mixed Samoan-Japanese heritage and fa'afafine perspective influencing her work at Venice.

"What I can bring to the New Zealand Pavilion, or maybe perhaps to the Venice Biennale, is to open up a conversation about what constitutes inclusion and diversity.

"I just hope that that is something that can come across in my presentation at the 2021 Venice Biennale."