New Zealand Representatives for the 59th Venice Biennale
Artist Yuki Kihara and Curator Natalie King Named Aotearoa New Zealand Representatives for the 59th Venice Biennale
The Arts Council of New Zeal and Toi Aotearoa has announced interdisciplinary artist Yuki Kihara will represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the 59th International Art Exhibition – Venice Biennale in 2021. The project will be curated by Australian Natalie King, continuing the formidable and innovative legacy of trans-Tasman collaboration in the visual arts.
Yuki Kihara is the first artist of Pacific descent to represent the nation, an historically significant inclusion for its contribution to the legacy of Aotearoa New Zealand in Venice. A native of Sāmoa, Kihara works across the visual arts, dance and curatorial projects to interrogate postcolonial histories at the intersection of race, gender, and sexual politics. Her presentation will speak to the shared histories between the Pacific and Aotearoa to examine dominant, singular historical narratives and illuminate alternative voices outside of prescribed Western identities. Most recently, Kihara’s work has appeared in The Asia Pacific Triennale (2002 and 2015); Auckland Triennale (2009); Sakahàn Quinquennial (2013); Honolulu Biennale (2017) and The Bangkok Art Biennale (2018). Her performance work and projects have also been featured in some of the world’s leading institutions including the Zendai Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney; Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.
As curator of the New Zealand Pavilion, Natalie King returns to the Venice Biennale with a wealth of knowledge in the realisation of projects that investigate the assumed singularity of cultural and political narratives. In 2017, she curated Tracey Moffatt: New Horizon for the Australian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, and has previously worked on projects at the National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta; the National Museum of Art, Osaka; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, amongst others.
The collaboration between these two cultural practitioners not only continues the committed relationship between New Zealand and Australia in the realisation of contemporary art projects, it works to further instate the global South as a rigorous contributor to the international arts community.
Image credit:Yuki Kihara. Photo: Scott Lowe.