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Samoan artist wins 2012 Wallace Art Award

5 Sep 2012

This content is tagged as Pacific arts .


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The 21st Annual Wallace Art Awards 2012, with prizes amounting to over $165,000, were presented by Rt Hon Sir Don McKinnon at the Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre this week.

Shigeyuki Kihara's video work which was inspired by the tsunami which hit Samoa in 2009 has won New Zealand’s premier art award.

This year the Wallace Arts Trust received 502 entries from which 118 entries have been selected as finalists. 46 finalists have been chosen for the Award Winners & Travelling Finalists exhibition and the balance is represented in the Salon des Refusés.

The 2012 Awards were judged by three prominent Art Practitioners – Warwick Brown, Derrick Cherrie and Sam Mitchell. This year’s Fulbright-Wallace Arts Trust Award judging panel was comprised of Scott Optican, Carole Shepheard, Peter Robinson and Warwick Brown.

Shigeyuki's silent performance video work entitled Galu Afi: Waves of Fire is an extension of Kihara’s recent solo dance performance and video work entitled Taualuga: The Last Dance (2005). Galu Afi explores the ancient Samoan dance form of taualuga as choreography, with Kihara dressed in the guise of a demure Samoan woman in Victorian mourning dress. This choreography describes the movements of the Tsunami in September 2009, which took the lives of more than 189 people in American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga, and is physically in conversation with the sequential analysis of photographic fracturing of time, which references 19th century Western Futurist photographers. While Futurist photographers such as Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne Jules Marey used photography as a tool for the analysis of dynamic motion, Galu Afi looks back into history to reveal the wisdom of indigenous belief systems.


  • Shigeyuki Kihara The Wallace Arts Trust Paramount Award Shigeyuki receives a 6 month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York, USA. Shigeyuki Kihara, Galu Afi: Waves of Fire, 2012, silent performance DVD, 4 min 49 sec
  • Steve Carr Fulbright-Wallace Arts Trust Award Steve receives a 3 month residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco, USA.
  • John Brown The Kaipara Foundation Wallace Arts Trust Award John receives a 3 month residency at the Altes Spital in Solothurn, Switzerland.
  • Katie Theunissen The Wallace Arts Trust Development Award Katie receives a 2 month residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Vermont, USA.
  • Karin Hofko Ist Runner-up Award Karin is awarded $2,000 cash.
  • Tessa Laird 2nd Runner-up Award Tessa is awarded $2,000 cash.
  • Erica van Zon Jury Award This prize is non-monetary.

The Award Winners & Travelling Finalists exhibition will be exhibited at the the Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre in Auckland from 4 September to 11 November 2012, Pataka Museum from 1 December 2012 to 24 February 2013 and Wallace Gallery Morrinsville 13 March to 5 May 2013. The Salon des Refusés will be exhibited at the Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre from 4 September to 18 November 2012.