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 Black queer subjectivity, abjection, diaspora, and earth-based healing practices. They create live performance, sculpture, video, and text informed by autoethnography, archival research, and social practice.
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 with honors in Performance Studies from Stanford University. Currently they are an MFA candidate in the Visual Art program at Columbia University.