Shigeyuki Kihara

The High chief and His Subjects

The High chief and His Subjects by Shigeyuki Kihara

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This photograph was inspired by an historic group photo of Mau leaders, who led a non-violent movement for Sāmoan independence from colonial rule in the early 1900s. Taking the place of the Mau leaders are prominent Pacific people who helped shape urban Pacific street culture, including actor and writer Oscar Kightley (from bro’Town and Sione's Wedding), musician Igelese Ete, pro-skateboarder Che Ataria and the artist, Yuki Kihara.

Kihara recalled:

‘Oscar brought a cassette tape of old songs from the Mau movement to the studio to play in the background while we were photographing High Chief and His Subjects, but unfortunately the studio didn’t have a ghetto blaster that could play a cassette tape. However Oscar’s intention contributed to our collective consciousness that was driven by a pro-Pacific kaupapa.’

The High chief and His Subjects
Production date
gelatin silver print
507 x 610 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2012
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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