Cast of Paradise Camp
In 2008, on viewing Gauguin paintings for the first time, Kihara noticed uncanny similarities to Fa’afafine.
In Paradise Camp, Kihara upcycles Gauguin’s works by featuring Fa‘afafine models to represent her own vision of Paradise, and therefore redirects the viewer to the concerns of contemporary Pacific Islanders.
Shot and filmed on location in Upolu Island, Sāmoa, Paradise Camp features a local cast and crew of over 80 people. Kihara worked closely with the Fa’afafine community and her photographic series are based on strong personal relationships with the models, all of whom are part of her Fa'afafine community. In Paradise Camp, Kihara amplifies voices within her community, ‘returning the gaze’ in a profound gesture of empowerment.