Biography and CV
Fiona Amundsen’s practice explores how documentary photographic and filmic images can enable a connected, active and caring relationship to the ramifications of painful historical experiences that live on in the present. She is interested in establishing relationships between specific historical events, the social responsibility of witnessing, and the ethics of documentary photographic and filmic practices. She edits declassified military produced archival imagery with her own present-day photography and filming to investigate the potential for imagery to perform a kind of visual listening and documentary witnessing of acts of colonial imperial violence, be it historical or not. Her image’s enable an ethical caring based in relationships of imagining over reified visibility, and listening over cognitive knowing.
Her current project, Coming Back to Life (2019 -), explores relationships between military nuclear technologies, military-capitalism, nuclear environmental destruction and spirituality. Prior to this new series, for the last five years Fiona explored alternative modalities for memorialising stories and experiences associated with the Asia-Pacific War (WWII). Her recent projects have focused on the the 82-day Battle of Okinawa (It Was a Cave Like This/Violent Wind of Steel, 2014-18) 1944 ‘Cowra Breakout’ in Australia, where just over 1,000 Japanese POWs attempted to escape, resulting in 235 deaths (A Body that Lives, 2017); the March 1945 American aerial fire-bombing of Tokyo (To Each Other/A Body that Lives, 2015-16); the plight of Ben Kuroki, the only American of Japanese descent permitted to fight in aerial combat in the Asia Pacific Theatre of WWII (Way of Life, 2016); the remnants of Syonan Jinja, a Japanese Shinto shrine built during WWII by Australian and British POWs in Singapore (Machine Wind, 2015).
Curriculum Vitae [Download CV]
Doctor of Philosophy, Monash University, 2019
Master of Social Sciences (first class honours), University of Waikato, 2005
Bachelor of Social Science with Honours in Anthropology (first class), University of Waikato, 2003
Bachelor of Arts (in Social Anthropology), University of Auckland 1996
Associate Professor in Art Theory/History and Photography, Bachelor of Visual Arts degree, Masters of Art and Design, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.
Solo Exhibitions (selected):
Human Hand, Dowse Art Gallery, Lower Hutt (with Tim Corballis)
A Body that Lives, St Paul St Gallery, Auckland
Community Honour, Photo Access, Canberra
To Each Other, Kuandu Museum of Fine Art, Taipei
Arsenal of Democracy, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo
Like a Body Without Skin, chapter two, C3 Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne
Like a Body Without Skin, Neue Kirche Contemporary Art Centre, Pittsburgh
The Imperial Body, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland
The Light of the South, Objectifs, Center for Photography and Film-making, Singapore
Summoning Souls (Registering Spirit), McNamara Gallery, Whanganui
Operation Magic, City Gallery, Wellington
The Golden Waterway, McNamara Gallery, Whanganui
The First City in History: Chapter Three, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington
The First City in History: Chapter One, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin
The First City in History: Chapter Two, St Paul St Gallery, Auckland
The First City in History, Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui
Miracle on the Han River, McNamara Gallery, Whanganui
Miracle on the Han River, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland
Miracle on the Han River, Changdong Studio Gallery, Seoul
Garden Place, Roger Williams Contemporary, Auckland
Garden Place, McNamara Gallery, Whanganui
Garden Place, The Signal Gallery, Hamilton
Time Trials, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra
Garden Place, Ramp Gallery, Hamilton
Wooden, McNamara Gallery, Whanganui
Time Trials, The Physics Room, Christchurch
Wooden, West Space Inc, Melbourne
Pedestrian, Cuckoo, Auckland
Pedestrian, The Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin
Pedestrian, The High Street Project, Christchurch
Pedestrian, The Ramp Gallery, Hamilton
Pedestrian, The Physics Room, Christchurch
‘Matter Speaks/Voiceless Matter’ as part of the exhibition Weak Force, St Paul St Gallery, Auckland (with Tim Corballis)
Si c’est (if it is), Te Tuhi, Auckland (with Tim Corballis)
Si c’est (if it is), The Physics Room, Christchurch (with Tim Corballis)
Group Exhibitions (selected):
Things that Shape Us, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch (forthcoming)
Our Remaining Breath, Tokyo Biennale, Tokyo (forthcoming)
The Medium is the Message, Wende Museum of the Cold War, Los Angeles (forthcoming)
Walters Prize, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
Thick Cinema, Whitechapel Gallery, London
Before is Now: Ko Muri Ko Nāianei, XIV Tenerife International Photography Biennial, The Tenerife Photography Center, Tenerife
Ex-Ante, Artspace, Auckland
Thick Cinema, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch
Way of Life, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Oberhausen
Open Studio, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo
Out of Site, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington
Negative Horizon – The 5th Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition, Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei
Silk Screen Film Festival, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
8th Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland Museum of Modern Art, Brisbane (project with Luke Willis Thompson)
Visiting Asia, Te Tuhi, Auckland
Pequod, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland
Open Studio, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo
As Many Structures As I Can, The Dowse Art Gallery, Lower Hutt
Available Light: Imagining More Than We See, Auckland Art Fair, Auckland
Recent Auckland Photography, North Art, Auckland
In Spite of Ourselves: Approaching Documentary (exhibition co-curated with Vera May and Dieneke Jansen), St Paul St Gallery, Auckland and The Dowse Art Gallery, Lower Hutt
Sightseeing, Peninsula Art Gallery, Plymouth (UK)
Sightseeing, The Dowse Art Gallery, Lower Hutt
Recent: Work by Ten New Zealand Photographers, Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga
Primary Products, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington
Telecom Prospect New Art New Zealand, City Gallery, Wellington
Opening Exhibition, Roger Williams Contemporary, Auckland
Contemporary New Zealand Photographers Book Launch and Exhibition, Starkwhite, Auckland
Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Award, Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton
Show Number 9, Matakana Pictures, Matakana
Duets II, Rm103, Auckland
National Drawing Award, Artspace/Physics Room, Auckland/Christchurch
Ahoy!, Flag Project, Thomas Cook Building flagpole, Hamilton
Water Works, Rm103, Auckland
Cuckoo at the Critical Studies Test Site, Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö
Deep Vein Psychosis, Rm103, Auckland
Art Waikato National Art Award, Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton
Slow Release: Recent Photography from New Zealand, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington
Xmas Stocking, Kreisler Gallery, New Plymouth
Slow Release: Recent Photography from New Zealand, Gipsland Art Gallery, Sale
Flora/Fauna, Room 401, Auckland
Art Waikato National Art Award, Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton
Slow Release: Recent Photography from New Zealand, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne
HSP Fund Raiser, The High Street Project, Christchurch
Gift Horse, The Syrup Room, Hamilton
Disposable, The Ramp Gallery, Hamilton
Wonder Lust, Ivan Anthony Gallery, Auckland,
Paper, The Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin
Multiples, Ivan Anthony Gallery, Auckland
Art Waikato National Art Award, Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton
Miracle on the Han River, Landfall 216, Otago University Press, 2008
Gastronome, New Zealand Journal of Photography, Number 55, Winter 2004
Gastronome, A Ramp Magazine, 2004
Bristol Square, 1997, Log Illustrated, 2001
Grey Lynn Primary School Swimming Pool, Auckland, 07/01/00, 0.645, Camera Austria International, # 71, 2000
Method, Log Illustrated, 2000
‘Listening to Lens-Based Images: Developing Ethical Memorialising Practices through Contemporary Filmic Artworks’ in From Alexandria to Tokyo: Art, Colonialism and Entangled Histories, joint research project with Mori Art Museum, Tokyo and Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational, London, in collaboration with Institute of Comparative Culture, Sophia University, Tokyo, 2020.
‘Invisible Energies: Visualizing Legacies of Nuclear Colonial Imperialism, from Tahiti to Tinian’ for Journal of Transnational American Studies (co-authored with Dr. Sylvia C Frain, University of Guam), University of California Digital Library, 2020.
‘Audio Dispatch’, It’s As If We Were Made for Each Other, St Paul St Gallery Curatorial Symposium (with Pallavi Paul), 2019.
‘The One and the Many: Connecting with and Caring for Each Other’ in Cultural Spaces and Design, Halter, Regine and Walthard, Catherine, eds., Basel, Librum Publishers & Editors LLC, 2019.
‘Kaitiakitanga, Manaakitanga and a Packet of Biscuits’ in The Time of the Now, Williams, Mark ed., Wellington, Circuit Artist Film and Video: Aotearoa New Zealand, 2018.
‘A Flimsy Image: the Discomfort of the Unseen in Singapore WWII Memorials’ in Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art, Singapore, NUS Press, 2017.
The Imperial Body, publication with Split/Fountain, Auckland, 2015
Pictures They Want to Make: Recent Auckland Photography, Corson-Scott, Chris and Hanfling, Edward (eds), Photo Forum, Auckland, 2013.
The Physics Room Annual 2008, Montgomery, Kate (editor/director), The Physics Room Trust, Christchurch, 2010.
Sightseeing, Scott, Hanna (editor), RIM Books, Auckland, 2010.
‘ Dented Consciousness: The Failure of Photography’ in Bold Centuries: A Photographic History Album, Sameshima, Haruhiko (image editor) and Skinner, Damien (text editor), 2009.
‘ Knowing Ourselves in Cities’ in Never Really There, Stumpf, Sebastian, edition Fotohof begleitet, 2009.
‘Si c’est (if it is)’, page work and conversation with Tim Corballis, Public Good, Booker, Paula (editor), Enjoy Gallery, 2008.
Speculations: New Zealand Venice Project, Butler, Brian (editor), Clouds, Auckland, 2007.
Telecom Prospect New Art New Zealand, Galbraith, Heather (editor), City Gallery, Wellington, 2007.
Nights of Our Lives, Laird, Tessa (editor), Rm 103, Auckland, 2006.
Contemporary New Zealand Photographers, Strongman, Lara (editor), Mountain View Publishing, Auckland, 2005.
The Physics Room Annual 2003, Forde, Rosemary (editor/director), The Physics Room Trust, Christchurch, 2004.
Deep Vein Psychosis, Byrt, Anthony (curator), Rm 103, Auckland, 2003.
Wooden, self-published monograph, Hamilton, 2003.
Slow Release: Recent Photography From New Zealand, Stanhope, Zara (curator), Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2002.
Time Trials, self-published monograph, Hamilton, 2002.
University of New South Wales Art Collection
Victoria University Art Collection
In Touch Artist Commission, Asia New Zealand Foundation, 2020
Mollie Holeman Medal for Best Doctoral Thesis, Monash University, 2020
Fulbright New Zealand Scholar Award, 2019
Creator in Residence, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, 2017
BachPGH Artist in Residence, Neue Kirche Contemporary Art Centre, USA, 2015
Artist in Residence, Objectifs, Center for Photography and Film-making, Singapore, 2015
Creator in Residence, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, 2014
Culture Grant, Asia New Zealand Foundation, 2013
Operation Magic, AUT University Contestable Research Grant, 2013
In Spite of Ourselves, AUT University Contestable Research Grant, 2012
Early Career Research Award, AUT University, 2011
Quick Response Grants, Creative New Zealand, 2011
The First City in History, AUT University Contestable Research Grant, 2010
Culture Grant, Asia New Zealand Foundation, 2010
Project Funding, New Zealand Japan Exchange Programme, 2010
Quick Response Grants, Creative New Zealand, 2009
Miracle on the Han River, AUT University Contestable Research Grant, 2008
Artists Residency at Changdong Studio, Seoul, Asia New Zealand Foundation, 2008
Garden Place, AUT University Contestable Research Grant, 2006
University of Waikato Masters Scholarship, University of Waikato, 2005
Garden Place, Waikato Institute of Technology Research Grant, 2003
Wooden, Waikato Institute of Technology Research Grant, 2002
Slow Release: Recent Photography from NZ Waikato Institute of Technology Research Grant, 2002
Time Trials, Waikato Institute of Technology Research Grant, 2001
Pedestrian, Creative New Zealand ‘New Work’ Grant, 2000