The past is a foreign climate : Shigeyuki Kihara meets the Anthropocene
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Citation:Seja, N. (2015). The Past is a Foreign Climate: Shigeyuki Kihara Meets the Anthropocene. Art Monthly Australia, 285, pp.28-32.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/4044
A young Samoan woman stands constrained in a voluminous black dress. The black-and-white photographs emphasize a Victorian formality and sensibility. This ancestor from the past is Shigeyuki Kihara’s Salome, a young ancient who stands at the interstices of the past, present and future. Surveying diverse topographies of the Pacific nation, she looks at what was, and is, and what will be. She is the common thread in Kihara’s recent series ‘Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?’ (2013). Te philosophical undercurrent about the nature of existence echoes Paul Gauguin’s 1897–98 painting of the same name. But the self-reflexivity – a common trope in the oeuvre of this Apia and Auckland-based artist – renders Gauguin’s Pacific through a postcolonial lens. Salome has returned after centuries have passed, to see, as Kihara refects: ‘whether the aspirations that she had in her time have been realised by the descendants, only to come back and perhaps be disappointed by some of the results.’