Chicanx, Punjabi, Hawaiian: weaving is about strange combinations. Teal penetrates magenta. Gold interrupts. Handspun wool twists with glitter, only to get trapped in cotton. As my mother likes to say when she sees a surprising multiracial body: “who invaded that guy?” Materials erase, seduce, replace, choke as they wind their way through a warp, under weft, are put under tension or are set free of it. 3/8 Indian. 1/8 black and white. Authenticity diluted by eighths!
What are you? I am a weaver of ends, of each generational end. I am a promiscuity of culture in rayon and knit caught in the warp of a backstrap loom, picking out the pattern in a poncho. But are these my stories to tell?
I am Hollywood Hawaiian. My work is a tribute to my grandmother Lawhaii (Kikume) Johal. That’s Hawaii with an L. She grew up believing her family was native Hawaiian.Her uncle was Chief Mehevi, Chief Rakos, the authenticating bodily presence of the savage and of the exotic in the jungle movies of the 1920s-50s.
What are you? Check the box. Are you human? Type the code. The “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” (CAPTCHA) is the puzzle that compels me to choose as I navigate the web. Prove you’re not a robot. But there are too many seams, too many constructed cultural affiliations sutured together.
This is the performance of the unassimilated without homeland: please check one box only. Mark yourself as Other.
Kira Dominguez Hultgren (b. 1980, she/they) is a U.S.-based artist, weaver, and educator. She studied postcolonial theory and literature at Princeton University, and studio arts and visual and critical studies at California College of the Arts. Their research interests include material and embodied rhetorics, re-storying material culture, and weaving as a performative critique of the visual. Dominguez Hultgren weaves with the material afterlife of a so-called multiracial family: Chicanx-Indigenous-Indian-Hollywood Hawaiian-Brown-Black. Instead of being passed down, weaving and textile processes are brought up, resurrected from family stories and fabrics. Dominguez Hultgren builds looms to weave into the frayed edges of lost language, culture, traditions, and lives that were deliberately cut-off in past generations. Her looms – whether digital jacquard, backstrap, floor, post – materialize this present absence often as largescale checkboxes and X-marks. Questions about cultural appropriation and codeswitching, exoticism, and performing cultural misrecognitions occupy their practice.
Dominguez Hultgren has exhibited her work broadly including shows at the de Young Museum, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, the San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textile, and Eleanor Harwood Gallery. Their work has received critical attention including reviews in the New York Times and Architectural Digest. Dominguez Hultgren is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Kira Dominguez Hultgren
b. 1980, Oakland, CA
Represented by Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2019 MFA/MA Fine Arts and Visual and Critical Studies, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2012 Textile Arts Apprenticeship, Ruca Mallín, Río Negro Province, Argentina
2003 BA Comparative Literature, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
2024 (anticipated) Invited site-specific outdoor installation, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX
2022 To Carry Every Name but Your Own, Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2022 Kira Dominguez Hultgren: Luz Jiménez, Heroes Gallery, NYC
2021 Made Room (Solo Presentation for Eleanor Harwood Gallery), NADA House, Governors Island, NYC
2021 I was India: Embroidering Exoticism, San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textile, San Jose, CA
2020 Cosmic Fluff (Solo Presentation/Facebook Installation), UNTITLED, ART, San Francisco, CA
2020 Intrusions, Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2019 Bridge, Gensler, San Francisco, CA
2018 Wingspan, Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2024 (anticipated) Craft Front and Center, curated by Alix Schwartz, Museum of Art and Design, NYC
2023 (anticipated) Three-person exhibition, curated by Marianne K. McGrath, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
2023 Ariadne’s Thread, curated by Sid Sachs, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
2022 A Beautiful Mess: Weavers and Knotters of the Vanguard, curated by Emilee Enders (Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA;
Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL; Museum of Arts & Sciences, Daytona Beach, FL; Sarasota Art Museum, Sarasota, FL)
2022 Follow the String, curated by Emma Spertus and Julio Rodriguez, MarinMOCA, Novato, CA
2022 Eyes of the Skin, curated by Teresita Fernández, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, NYC
2022 Future Shock: (Re)Visions of Tomorrow, co-curated by Caroline Brooks and Aaron Wilder, Roswell Museum, Roswell, NM
2022 Windows on the Y-Axis (two-person show), University Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2022 Line by Line, curated by Janice Lessman-Moss, Kent State University, OH
2022 Water is Thicker Than Blood, curated by Rachel Poonsiriwong, Root Division, San Francisco, CA
2021 Two-person presentation for Eleanor Harwood Gallery, UNTITLED, Miami, FL
2021 A Beautiful Mess: Weavers and Knotters of the Vanguard, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA
2020 Believe Only the Caravan’s Trace, curated by Yomna Osman, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA
2020 The de Young Open, de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA
2020 Invincible Summer, Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco, CA
2019 Fiberful, curated by Cynthia Ona Innis, NIAD Art Center, Richmond, CA
2019 Stitching and Weaving in the Digital Age, curated by Christine Duval, Currents 826, Santa Fe, NM
2019 My Mother’s Maiden Name, curated by Tanya Gayer, Root Division, San Francisco, CA
2019 Trap, Trauma, Transformation, curated by Rohan DaCosta, Greenlining Institute, Oakland, CA
2018 MFA Exhibition I, Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco, CA
2017 The Annual Murphy and Cadogan Awards Exhibition, curated by Kevin Chen, SOMArts, San Francisco, CA
2012 Duendes y Hadas de Fieltro, Antu Werken, Paraje Entre Ríos, RN, Argentina
2011 Lado Derecho, curated by Veronica Vides, Centro Cultural, El Bolsón, RN, Argentina
2022 Courtyard by Marriot Chicago Downtown/River North, Lobby Wall, Chicago, IL
2023 Carambola Beach Resort, Restaurant Wall and Outdoor Pavilion, St. Croix, VI
RESIDENCIES AND FELLOWSHIPS
2023 Bilbe Wool Residency, Bilbao BioDesign Center, Bilbao, Spain
2021 AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship (declined), Parsons School of Design, New York City, NY and Art Center,
2020 Facebook AIR, San Francisco, CA
2019-2020 Graduate Fellowship, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA
2019 Lia Cook Jacquard Residency, California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA
2019 Gensler AIR, San Francisco, CA
HONORS AND AWARDS
2021 SECA Award Nomination, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
2020 Hopper Prize, The Hopper Prize, Dover, DE
2020 Brandford/Elliott Award Nomination for Excellence in Fiber Arts, Textile Society of America, Baltimore, MD
2019 MFA Professional Development Fellowship Honorable Mention, College Art Association, New York, NY
2018 All College Honors Graduate Scholarship in Graduate Fine Arts Award, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2018 Dennis Leon and Christin Nelson Scholarship, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2017 Edwin Anthony and Adalaine Boudreaux Cadogan Scholarship, San Francisco, CA
2017 Toni A. Lowenthal Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in Textiles, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2020 Fidelity Corporate Art Collection, Boston, MA
2020 Facebook Headquarters, Menlo Park, CA
2019 Google Nest Corporate Collection, Palo Alto, CA
2018 UCSF Precision Cancer Medicine Building, San Francisco, CA
MEDIA COVERAGE AND PUBLICATIONS
2022 D’Souza, Aruna. “What to See in NYC Galleries Right Now,” (review). New York Times. June 22, 2022.
2022 Heinrich, Will. “What to See in NYC Galleries Right Now,” (review). New York Times. April 15, 2022.
2022 Adamson, Glenn. “Walking the Walk,” (review/catalogue). Line by Line, January 2022.
2021 Roseo, Maria Rosaria. “Interview with Kira Dominguez Hultgren,” ArteMorbida Textile Arts, June 2021.
2021 Smith, Roberta. “On Governors Island, Art Interventions Are Everywhere,” (review). New York Times. May 6, 2021.
2021 Dominguez Hultgren, Kira. “Read in Stitches: Faith Ringgold’s Dinner at Gertrude Stein’s.” Feral Fabric vol. 3 (2021).
2020 Roman Alonso and Steven Johanknecht, Design Commune: A Love Letter to California (New York: Abrams Books, 2020), 151.
2020 Shah, Shilpa. “I was India: Embroidering Exoticism,” (review). Textile Society of America News, September 29, 2020.
2020 Rus, Mayer. “Step Inside a Family’s Sophisticated Santa Cruz Getaway,” (review). Architectural Digest, July/August 2020.
2020 Bravo, Tony. “Minnesota Street Project Opens First Group Gallery Show in Atrium, Launches Virtual Portal,” (review). San Francisco
Chronicle. July 8, 2020.
2020 Hotchkiss, Sarah. “Six Bay Area Art Shows to See in 2020,” (review). KQED. January 2020.
2020 UNTITLED, ART, Conversations, “Strange Combinations: Analog meets Virtual,” moderated by James Voorhies, Jan 2020. Podcast.
2019 CAA News Today, “Meet the 2018 Professional Development Fellows,” January 2019.
2018 Cheng, Dewitt. “Kira Dominguez Hultgren,” (review). Visual Art Source. June 2018.
2017 Kost, Ryan. “Identity and History on Display at SOMArts Show,” (review). SF Gate. September 20, 2017.
TEACHING AND SERVICE
2022- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Assistant Professor. Craftivism. Intermediate Sculpture. Making and Meaning.
Graduate Laboratory: Dialogues and Practice. Graduate Contemporary Art History and Practice.
2022- Textile Society of America. Board of Directors. Assistant Director of Volunteers and Mentorship.
2020-2022 School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lecturer. Tapestry. Collective Weaving. Introduction to Fiber and Material Studies.
2017-2019 California College of the Arts. TA. Jacquard Weaving. Contemporary Art History and Theory (Graduate Survey).
VISITING ARTIST LECTURES
2023 American Tapestry Alliance Speaker Series, “Terribly Productive Loss: Weaving at Loose Ends.” Online.
2022 Rhode Island School of Design, “Re-storying Material Practice,” Providence, RI
2022 Kent State University, “Am I Doing This Right?” School of Art, Kent, OH
2022 Surface Design Association, “Traditions Evolve” Juror Talk, Online.
2021 Handweavers Guild of America, Textiles & Tea, Online.
2021 New Art Dealer Alliance, “Make Room,” Online.
2021 Textile Talks, “Restorying Textiles,” San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textile, Online.
2020 de Young Museum, "The Art of Textiles," panel discussion hosted by curator Jill D'Alessandro San Francisco, CA
2020 San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textile, “Flower-Shaped Storytelling,” San Jose, CA
2020 Living Room Light Exchange, “Cosmic Fluff: Materializing Countable Identity,” San Francisco, CA
2020 Sonoma State University, “I was India: Materializing Imagined Identities in Contemporary Fiber Art,” Visiting Artist Lecture Series,
2019 California College of the Arts, “Textiles as Appropriative Practice,” Fine Art Lecture Series, Oakland, CA
2019 California College of the Arts, “Beyond Women’s Work: Embodied and Material Rhetoric,” Craft Theory I, San Francisco, CA
CONFERENCE PAPERS AND PANELS
2023 “I’m not a Robot: The TC2 and Second-Generation Looms as Maximalist Methodology for Brown Belonging.” Paper presented at
Praxis and Practice Digital Weaving Conference, Cleveland, OH
2022 “Collective Weaving.” Paper and panel speaker, Creative Place-making Summit, Schenectady, NY
2021 “Slipping Through the Cracks: Rereading Tapestry Techniques as Subversive Material Rhetoric in Late-Nineteenth-Century Navajo-
Woven U.S. Flags.” Paper presented at CAA Annual Conference.
2019 “Here, and No Further: Material Rhetoric in Loom with Textile.” Paper presented at Timepieces, the Centre for Comparative Literatures
29th Annual Conference, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
2019 My Mother’s Maiden Name, curated by Tanya Gayer. Panel speaker, Root Division, San Francisco, CA
2019 Making (it) Work curated by Karla Wozniak and Georgia Elrod. Panel speaker, Oliver Art Center, Oakland, CA
2017 “Hawaii with an L: How Black and White Became Hawaiian in John Ford’s The Hurricane.” Paper presented at the Identities,
Difference, and Power Symposium, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2017 Artists/Students of Color Experience in Higher Arts Education. Panel speaker, Murphy & Cadogan Equity in Arts Education Summit,
SOMArts, San Francisco, CA