Si‘ou alofa Maria: Hail Mary (After Gauguin), 2020
Hahnemühle fine art paper mounted on aluminium
87.6 × 113.7 cm
A fale appears in the background of Kihara’s photograph Si‘ou alofa Maria: Hail Mary (After Gauguin), which uses the former residence of Paramount Chief of Sāmoa Matā‘afa Iosefo, who played a pivotal role in the 19th century, during the country’s colonial era, when Germany, Great Britain and the United States were vying for control of the Sāmoan archipelago.
Kihara first saw Gauguin’s version of the painting Ia orana Maria (Hail Mary) (1891) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008, which she revisited by casting Fa‘afafine activist Vaito‘a Toelupe in the role of Mary and imbibing the image within the Sāmoan cultural context.
Yuki talks about upcycling selected Paul Gauguin paintings
Place in my home
Use augmented reality to view this artwork within your home and get closer than ever
In Gauguin’s paintings, Kihara noticed uncanny similarities to Fa’afafine. In Paradise Camp, Kihara upcycles Gauguin’s works using Fa‘afafine models to represent her own vision of Paradise.