Journal article

Polyface in Paradise: Exploring the Politics of Race, Gender, and Place

Kalissa Alexeyeff, Yuki Kihara

CONTEMPORARY PACIFIC | UNIV HAWAII PRESS | Published : 2018

Abstract

Yuki Kihara’s 2016 work Der Papālagi (The White Man) provides a critical reappropriation of an early twentieth-century account of a Samoan chief and his views on “white people” and the artifice of European “civilization.” This work was popular as an invocation of island paradise that appealed to German sensibilities of the time. It has, however, been revealed as a literary masquerade written by Erich Scheurmann, who resided briefly in Sāmoa in the early twentieth century. This tale has been further interpreted in a photographic project by artist Yuki Kihara who uses it to reexplore contemporary evocations of paradise and to disrupt hierarchical relations through a series of racial crossings ..

View full abstract