Kiyan Williams is a multidisciplinary artist who unearths counterhegemonic notions of identity, history, and sociality. They often work with dirt and earth as material and metaphor to explore the Black diaspora, displacement, trans/gressive subjectivities, and earth-based healing practices. They create live performance, sculpture, video, and installation informed by autoethnography, archival research, and Black feminist thought.
Kiyan was born in Newark, NJ. They have performed/exhibited work across the country and internationally at venues including: The Jewish Museum, Dixon Place (NYC), JACK Theater (NYC), La Mama Experimental Theater Club (NYC), SOMArts (San Francisco), SFMOMA (San Francisco), Bing Concert Hall (Stanford), Orpheum Theater (Graz, Austria) and more.
Kiyan's honors and awards include the EMERGENYC fellowship at the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics at NYU, Astraea Foundation Global Arts Fund, Stanford Arts Award, and the Gates Millennium Scholarship. Kiyan earned a BA from Stanford University and is a candidate in the Visual Art MFA program at Columbia University. Currently, they are re-performing Bruce Nauman’s “Wall-Floor Positions” at MoMA and PS1. Their work will be exhibited in forthcoming group shows at SculptureCenter and The Shed.