Fiona Amundsen

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Senior Lecturer - Visual Arts

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 # 8786


Postal Address:
School of Art and Design
Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies
AUT University
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
New Zealand

Links to relevant web pages:


M. Soc. Sci. (first class Honours): B. Soc. Sci. Hons (first class): BA

Research Interests

Fiona Amundsen is a New Zealand based visual artist who works primarily with lens-based media.  Her academic background in social anthropology has been fundamental in defining her thinking and approach to photographic representation, documentary practice, and historical trauma, along with its subsequent memorialisation.  She uses photography and video to question the relationships between historical sites of trauma and their socio-political narratives, as well as the role of memorial. She’s interested in questioning how photography and film can be utilised to stutter or stammer sanctioned official narratives that are linked to both memorials and archival imagery that are representative of the Asia Pacific Theatre of WWII.  In particular, her research raises questions concerning not only how to visualise difficult histories, but how to be present to what they hold, to what they can teach of the ways the residues of historical acts hide within the present.   

Her recent research has included The First City in History (2010), which focuses on the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: The Golden Waterway (2011), which focuses on The Bund, a recently restored site that was originally home to Shanghai's mix of nineteenth century Anglo-America colonisers: Operation Magic (2012), which addresses the sites of the 1941 Japanese initiated Pearl Harbour attack: The Imperial Body (2013/14) which focuses on the contentious Japanese Yasukuni Shrine and the plight of Ben Kuroki, the only American of Japanese descent permitted to fight in aerial combat in the Asia Pacific Theatre of WWII: Violent Wind of Steel (2014) which focuses on the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park and sites linked to ‘The Battle of Okinawa’: Imperial Double Take (2015) which focuses on the remnants of Syonan Jinja, a Japanese Shinto shrine built during WWII by Australian and British POWs in Singapore: and Like a Body Without Skin (2015) which explored relationships between USA steel manufacturing industries and their mobilisation into a united national front that produced everything from planes to bombs during WWII.  

Fiona has exhibited and held residencies/fellowships both nationally as well as internationally in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, the United States and Europe.  In 2015 she published The Imperial Body with split/fountain.

Recent Projects:

Solo Exhibitions:

Like A Body Without Skin, Neu Kirche Center for Contemporary Art, Pittsburgh

The Imperial Body, Chapter One, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland

Imperial Double Take, Objectifs, Center for Photography and Film, 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
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


Machine Wind, Neu Kirche Center for Contemporary Art, Pittsburgh 
‘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)

Selected Group Exhibitions:

8th Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland Museum of Modern Art, Brisbane (project with Luke Willis Thompson)

Visiting Asia, Te Tuhi, Auckland

Imagining Asia, Partaka Museum, Porirua
Pequod, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland

Open Studio, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo
As Many Structures As I Can, The Dowse Museum, Wellingto

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 Museum, Wellington
Sightseeing, Peninsula Art Gallery, Plymouth (UK) and The Dowse Museum, Wellington

Page Works:

Si c’est (if it is) (with Tim Corballis), Public Good, 2008

Miracle on the Han River, Landfall 216, Otago University Press, 2008


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.


Artist in Residence, Neu Kirsche Center for Contemporary Art, Pittsburgh, 2015
Artist in Residence, Objectifs, Center for Photography and Film-making, Singapore, 2015
Culture Grant, Asia New Zealand Foundation, 2014
Creator in Residence, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, 2014
Culture Grant, Asia New Zealand Foundation, 2013
Quick Response Grants, Creative New Zealand, 2011
Culture Grant, Asia New Zealand Foundation, 2010
Project Funding, New Zealand Japan Exchange Programme, 2010
Quick Response Grants, Creative New Zealand, 2009
Artists Residency at Changdong Studio, Seoul, Asia New Zealand Foundation, 2008



Chartwell Collection
University of New South Wales Art Collection
Victoria University Art Collection