Shigeyuki Kihara

Tama and his vahine

Tama and his vahine by Shigeyuki Kihara

Artwork Detail

Wearing a flax cloak and bowler hat – pipe in hand – Tama stares directly out at the viewer in an image that recalls studio-based colonial-era photography. Inspiration for the Savage Nobility series came from the late 19th- and early 20th-century photography of Alfred Burton and Alfred Tattersall, who were active in photographing Māori and Pacific people. In the Savage Nobility series photographer Duncan Cole created dark tones and grainy textures, effects that resemble historic daguerreotypes. Both figures in Tama and His Vahine embody a sense of strength and pride. Yuki Kihara recalled how she used Māori and Pacific models who were ‘socially conscious and pro-Pacific individuals who believed in the empowerment of our communities’.

Tama and his vahine
Shigeyuki Kihara
Production date
gelatin silver print
507 x 610 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2012
Accession no
Other ID
X2012/1/3 Old Accession Number
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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