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 Mapuche 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) is a U.S.-based textile artist and educator. She studied French postcolonial theory and literature at Princeton University, and performance and fine arts in Río Negro, Argentina. With a dual-degree MFA/MA in Fine Arts and Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts, her research interests include material and embodied rhetorics, decolonizing material culture, and analyzing textiles as a performative critique against the visual. Dominguez Hultgren’s work has been exhibited at the de Young Fine Art Museum of San Francisco, headlined Untitled, ART SF in 2020, and was featured in the July/August 2020 issue of Architectural Digest. She has had two solo shows with Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco, where she is represented, and her first solo museum show at the San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textile. Her fellowships and residencies include the Headlands Center for the Arts, Facebook, and Gensler Architecture. Dominguez Hultgren is part-time faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Fiber and Material Studies.
Kira Dominguez Hultgren
b. 1980, Oakland, California
Represented by Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Arts Commission Prequalified Artist Pool
2019 MFA Fine Arts and MA Visual and Critical Studies, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2012 Mapuche Textile Arts Apprenticeship, Ruca Mallín, Río Negro Province, Argentina
2003 BA, Comparative Literature, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Selected Solo and Group Exhibitions
2021 (anticipated) 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
2020 I was India: Embroidering Exoticism (Solo Exhibition), San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textile, San Jose, CA
2020 Cosmic Fluff (Solo Exhibition/Facebook Booth Installation), UNTITLED, ART, San Francisco, CA
2020 Intrusions (Solo Exhibition), Eleanor Harwood Gallery, 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
2019 O! ‘darkly, deeply, beautifully blue…’, Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2019 Bridge (Solo Exhibition), Gensler, San Francisco, CA
2018 Stitching and Weaving in the Digital Age, Résidence de France, San Francisco, CA
2018 All College Honors Award Exhibition, Hubbell Street Galleries, San Francisco, CA
2018 Wingspan (Solo Exhibition), Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2018 MFA Exhibition I, Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco, CA
2018 This Message Has No Content, Embark Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2018 Caught in the Fray, College Avenue Galleries, Oakland, CA
2017 The Annual Murphy and Cadogan Awards Exhibition, SOMArts, San Francisco, CA
2017 TEXT TALES: Narrativity in Cloth & Thread, College Avenue Galleries, Oakland, CA
2016 The Immediate Archive, College Avenue Galleries, Oakland, CA
2015 Roots of the Maypole (Solo Exhibition), Codornices Park, Berkeley, CA, USA
2013 Iconography of Loss, 24-hour outdoor installation (Solo Exhibition), Victoria, MN, USA
2012 Duendes y Hadas de Fieltro, Antu Werken, Paraje Entre Ríos, RN, Argentina
2011 La Teoria del Color, Escuela Micael, Paraje Entre Ríos, RN, Argentina
2011 Lado Derecho, Centro Cultural, El Bolsón, RN, Argentina
2020 Facebook AIR, San Francisco, CA
2019-2020 Graduate Fellowship, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA
2019 Lia Cook Jacquard Weaving Residency, California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA
2019 Gensler AIR, San Francisco, CA
Honors and Awards
2020 Hopper Prize, Spring 2020, 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
2019 SECA Award Nomination, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
2018 All College Honors Scholarship in Graduate Fine Arts Award, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2018 Commencement Exhibition Curator 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
2016 Lenore Tawney Fiber and Material Studies Scholarship (declined), School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
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
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 Bravo, Tony. “Minnesota Street Project Opens First Group Gallery Show in Atrium, Launches Virtual Portal,” (review).
2020 Huguenor, Mike. “I was India at San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textile,” March 4, 2020.
2020 Donoghue, Katy. “Tina Vaz on Facebook’s Artist-in-Residence Program,” (shout-out). Whitewall. January 15, 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, January
2019 CAA News Today, “Meet the 2018 Professional Development Fellows,” January 2019.
2018 Lutz, Leora. “Coded, Recent Weavings by Kira Dominguez Hultgren.” Essay published in conjunction with Wingspan
Exhibition, Eleanor Harwood Gallery, June 2018.
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.
2017 Venkat, Uji. “2017 Murphy Cadogan Contemporary Art Awards Exhibition,” (review). Emergent Art Space. November
2021 School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Introduction to Fiber and Material Studies, Adjunct Professor, Chicago, IL
2019 California College of the Arts, Jacquard Weaving: Zeros and Ones, TA, Oakland, CA
2018 California College of the Arts, Jacquard Weaving: Zeros and Ones, TA, Oakland, CA
2017 California College of the Arts, Contemporary Art History and Theory, TA, (Graduate Survey), San Francisco, CA
Visiting Artist Lectures
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, Sonoma, CA
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
Conference Papers and Panels
2021 (accepted) “Slipping Through the Cracks: Rereading Tapestry Weaving 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