Touring Saletoga Sands Resort & Spa, Upolu Island, Sāmoa.
Opening 1st June 2024 until 31st January 2025.

“Paradise Camp” returns home to Sāmoa following rave reviews in Venice and Sydney

After a “Triumphant” (The Art Newspaper) reception at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022 and touring the Powerhouse Museum in 2023 described as being “Stunning” by Time Out Sydney and “Must-See” by Ocula; award-winning artist Yuki Kihara’s critically acclaimed exhibition entitled “Paradise Camp” is finally coming home next year to the Independent State of Sāmoa situated in Central Polynesia in the South Pacific. 

The “Paradise Camp” exhibition is centred around a “Powerful” (CNN) suite of twelve photographs which recast and “upcycle” select paintings by French post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin (1848 – 1903) believed to have been inspired by Sāmoa. In addition, the photographs features Fa’afafine and Fa’atama models – a third gender community unique to Sāmoan culture. Subsequently, they also make up part of the cast and crew of close to one hundred people, photographed on locations including rural villages, churches, plantations and heritage sites in Upolu Island in Sāmoa.

The “Paradise Camp” photographs, described by the Financial Times as “meticulously composed and super luscious” will be presented alongside new works held at the Saletoga Sands Resort and Spa in Upolu Island opening on the 1st of June 2024 to coincide with Sāmoa’s 62nd Independence celebration. The “Paradise Camp” exhibition will be on view until the 31st of January 2025 and overlaps major events in Sāmoa including the Teuila festival (September 2024); the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (October 2024) attended by King Charles III; and Fa’afafine Week including the Annual Miss Sāmoa Fa’afafine Beaty Pageant (December 2024).  

Alex Su’a, a Sāmoa-based lawyer and the president of the Sāmoa Fa’afafine Association who saw the “Paradise Camp” exhibition at the 59th Venice Biennale says “I was very impressed and moved by the exhibition which placed Sāmoa on the global map. It’s an exhibition that all Sāmoans – regardless whether you’re a Fa’afafine or not – should be proud of. I’m excited for the homecoming of the “Paradise Camp” exhibition to Sāmoa.” 

The “Paradise Camp” exhibition described as being a “landmark presentation” (Burlington Review) at the 59th Venice Biennale, had the official in-person attendance figures reaching 485,079 at the close of the exhibition, and 104,931 visits to the Virtual Explore website. By the end of the “Paradise Camp” exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum on 21st of January 2024, it’s estimated that over a million people would have seen the “Paradise Camp” exhibition in-person, while over one billion people would have seen the “Paradise Camp” exhibition through online media. All of this has led to the momentum for the return of Paradise Camp to Sāmoa, where it all began.  

The touring of the “Paradise Camp” exhibition in Sāmoa is made possible with major funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Government of New Zealand with additional support from the Sāmoa Tourism Authority; Digicel Sāmoa; The Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa; Fiji Airways; Sāmoa Fa'afafine Association and Saletoga Sands Resort and Spa.

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Photo 1 of 2: Portrait of artist Yuki Kihara. Photo by Gui Taccetti.
Photo 2 of 2: Artist Yuki Kihara at the Aotearoa New Zealand Pavillion as part of the 59th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia in 2022. Photo by Luke Walker.

Artist Yuki Kihara with the management & staff of Saletoga Sands Resort & Spa. From left: 
Nomismaalisa Maiava - Accountant 
Vilive Rokovasa Vodo - Reservation
Lurline Johnston Brightwell - Managing Director 
Gavin Douglas Brightwell - Director 
Faauiga Seu - Food & Beverage Supervisor
Photo by Gui Taccetti.


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