Yuki Kihara brings her acclaimed Paradise Camp to Sydney
The artist’s hyperreal photographic series is a wry take on a giant of the past.
By Fiona Kelly McGregor
Yuki Kihara has chosen familiar wallpaper for our Zoom interview: a tropical beach, the curve of white sand fringed with palms, translucent shallows and a long blue horizon. One could easily assume it is a stock photograph from Silicon Valley, an idealised holiday
setting from a tourist brochure.
“It’s nice and inviting,” says the Samoan fa’afafine artist. “But you would never know the ocean is rising.”
Born in Samoa in 1975, Kihara had a cosmopolitan childhood, attending primary school in Osaka, then boarding school in Wellington while living in Jakarta. Her father is Japanese, her maternal grandfather was German. Fa’afafine, loosely translating as “born a man, living in the manner of a woman”, and fa’atama, “born a woman, living in the manner of a man”, are gender identities particular to Samoa, with counterparts across the Pacific.