Image showing a production still from the filming of ‘Going Native’ featuring Njord Student Rowing Club at Museum Volkenkunde, Leiden the Netherlands.
Tholenaar van Raalte Fellow | 2017, 2019 & 2022

Yuki Kihara

Yuki Kihara – one of New Zealand’s leading interdisciplinary artists – continues her Tholenaar van Raalte fellowship at the RCMC.


Photo credit: ‘Going Native’ (2018/2022) by Yuki Kihara. Production still from the filming of ‘Going Native’ featuring Njord Student Rowing Club at Museum Volkenkunde, Leiden the Netherlands. Commissioned by the National Museum of World Cultures, The Netherlands. Courtesy of Yuki Kihara and Milford Galleries Dunedin and Queenstown, Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Research Project

Yuki Kihara’s work engages various social, political, and cultural issues. Her interdisciplinary approach challenges dominant and singular historical narratives through visual arts, dance, and curatorial practices, thinking alongside Pacific colonial history and representations as they intersect with race, gender, spirituality, and sexual politics. 

In the Netherlands, she continues her fellowship, which began in 2017, by researching the Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen's collections to generate provocations around issues of cross-cultural exchanges and representations, including cultural identities in the contemporary and Dutch constructions of the Pacific. Her research has culminated in the production of new work titled Going Native (2019/2022), commissioned by the Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen, presented at the Museum Volkenkunde (National Museum of Ethnology) in November 2022 as part of the Taking Care Project, co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union.


A native of Sāmoa, Yuki Kihara is an interdisciplinary artist of Sāmoan and Japanese heritage. In 2008, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, presented a solo exhibition of Kihara’s work titled Living Photographs featuring highlights of her interdisciplinary art practice, followed by an acquisition of her works by the museum for their permanent collection. Kihara’s work can also be found in collections throughout the world, including: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; British Museum; Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen in the Netherlands; Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan; and Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, to name a few. Kihara’s works have been presented at the Asia Pacific Triennial (2002 & 2015), Auckland Triennial (2009), Sakahàn Quinquennial (2013), Daegu Photo Biennial (2014), Honolulu Biennial (2017), Bangkok Art Biennial (2018), Aichi Triennale (2022) and Venice Biennale (New Zealand Pavilion, 2022). She lives and works in Sāmoa, where she has been based over the past eleven years. A book has just been published about her work titled Paradise Camp (2022).

Photo portrait below by Luke Walker.