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FEATURED ARTWORK

monsters

ALL MONSTERS ARE REAL - 2023

Acrylic paint on an abandoned skateboard

 

Winner - Reused / Recycled Materials Award - Reimagine Art Prize 2023
Exhibited at Wallarobba Arts and Cultural Centre, Hornsby, 18 May - 4 June 2023

Finalist - National Emerging Art Prize 2023

Exhibited at Michael Reid Art Bar, Pyrmont, 1 November - 13 November 2023

Finalist - North Sydney Art Prize 2024

Exhibited at The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability, Waverton, 11 May - 2 June 2024

I turned a beat-up skateboard scavenged from a council clean-up into an imitation of a silk painting. My work is loosely based on a hanging scroll by Ming Dynasty master Qiu Ying (Fording the Stream, After Liu Songnian).

I wanted to connect with my identity as a Chinese-Australian artist and found Ying’s work in a 1989 magazine, also in a council clean up. The monsters I added refer to the destructive forces around us that are so familiar they are part of the landscape.

To me, a monster is excessive consumerism that thrives on cold indifference to the fact that many of the things we buy are slave-made. The waste generated when these things are discarded - that’s another monster.

Tantalisingly cheap online stores and their next-day deliveries seem like wonderlands, but they are wastelands that create landfill. If we are curious about waste, it will be harder for monsters to hide.

A PREVENTABLE EXTINCTION - 2023

Acrylic paint on bovine scrap leather

Finalist - Reimagine Art Prize 2024

Exhibited at Wallarobba Arts and Cultural Centre, Hornsby, 10-26 May 2024

 

On average, Australians dispose of 93 per cent of the textiles they purchase each year; only seven per cent is recycled. With this in mind, the awful popularity of cheap, exploitative garments and accessories can only cause dismay. At the crossroads of consumption, we must ask: how much more can the planet take? Bovine scrap leather has been painted on to show the beauty of off-cuts from the wasteful textile industry. This painting depicts the most recently extinct Australian mammal, the Christmas Island pipistrelle (Pipistrellus murrayi), and urges the viewer to consider – if we are so eager to overconsume at the expense of humans and animals, will the next extinction be our own? The Pipistrelle died out in 2009 and the insets reference iconic events of that year, which feels fresh in the memory – far more so than the preventable death of the last of a little-known bat. Special thanks to Dr Lindy Lumsden.

A Preventable Extinction Claire E Low_web.JPG

CRADLE MOUNTAIN THROUGH LEXI'S EYES - 2023

Acrylic paint on plywood framed in Tasmanian blackwood

Exhibited at:

  • UPLIFT, the Wet Paint Collective’s March 2024 show at the Balmain Watch House

  • ONWARD, the Wet Paint Collective’s March 2024 show at the Art Gallery on Darling

 

Lexi is a close friend, a snowboarder, a traveller, an art director and an ace photographer. She loves wild places, abandoned places, crisply cold places and nostalgic places. At the time I painted this, I had a pneumothorax and could not fly, so Tasmania was out of reach for me. But as Lexi provided her superb shot of Cradle Mountain for me to paint from, I could see Tasmania through her eyes, I could almost touch it, I could feel as though I was standing where she stood, taking it all in.

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best friends

HELL MONEY - 2023

Acrylic paint and wood varnish on plywood box lid

Finalist - Biblio Art Prize 2023

Exhibited at Blarney Books and Art, Port Fairy, 9 December 2023 to end of summer 2024

This piece responds to the Australian novel All That's Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien. Its surrealistic style nods to the nightmare state the heroine Ky Tran finds herself in after her teenage brother, Denny, is shot dead in a Cabramatta restaurant. Ky's mother burns 'hell money' for her son, and also paper 'servants' because Denny died so young that she thinks he won't be able to take care of himself in the afterlife. Two coffin nails pin the hell money into place and the piece is aged because the story is set in 1996. Migrant families are famously frugal so this piece is painted on a salvaged plywood box lid that the artist stained with old, dark Estapol - perhaps the only way a family like the Trans could have the type of rich dark wood that was popular in the '90s.

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best friends

SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS - 2022

Acrylic paint on wooden board, framed in Tasmanian oak

Sold

Finalist - Hornsby Art Prize 2023

Exhibited at Wallarobba Arts and Cultural Centre, Hornsby, 20 October – 5 November 2023

This small-scale work reflects the paradox of how the tiniest objects can have the greatest impact. In this still life,  each of the books have enlarged my inner life. The creatures are each souvenirs gathered from Paris, Stockholm and Oslo. These tiny things from big adventures make the world feel smaller. The other things may be humble but have outsized personal significance: the lamp, scavenged from the side of a road, illuminates my nightly drawing practice. The begonia cutting in an empty coffee jar refers to a desperate attempt to reinvigorate a get-well gift. The green paint is the same house paint used to refurbish a dollhouse also rescued from the side of the road.

Haw

HAW FLAKES IN MEMORY OF DAD - 2023

Acrylic paint and salvaged wood varnish on wooden board

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Finalist - Little Things Art Prize 2023

Exhibited at Saint Cloche, Paddington, 27 September– 8 October 2023

Haw Flakes are an old-fashioned Chinese lolly that remind me of my dad, who I miss terribly. Sometimes love is a little roll of candies.

Haw Flakes in Memory of Dad by Claire Engkaninan Low_web.JPG

XIII CHANGE IS COMING - 2023

Acrylic paint on wooden board 

 

Exhibited at :

  • BLEND, the Wet Paint Collective’s August 2023 show at the Balmain Watch House

  • ONWARD, the Wet Paint Collective’s March 2024 show at Art Gallery on Darling

My Krasue ghost character surges out of the bounds of a tarot card – XXIII indicating death. Though formidable, my character is a comforting protector who can chase away your other fears. Death is usually depicted in the Rider-Waite Tarot as riding a horse – my ghost wraps around a horse’s skull.

Death Tarot Card_web.JPG

THE LIGHT IN DARK PLACES  - 2022

Acrylic paint on scrap leather 

 

This painting, held in a private collection in Vancouver, depicts a death’s-head hawkmoth (Acherontia atropos). It deliberately includes the marks made by the leather’s previous user; they are a feature, not a flaw. The texture of the leather exaggerates the texture of the moth. 

View more artwork here

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