Kim Lowe is a Christchurch-based artist and printmaker of NZ Chinese and Pakeha descent. She completed her Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury in 2009.
In much of her print-making and, seen for the first time here, her painting, Kim explores this territory of mixed race and genealogy, insisting on a cultural perspective rooted in the Asian experience – a perspective often missing from art historical approaches in this country.
In Floating Worlds she explores the Taoist dualities of light and dark, black and white and male and female in a series of painterly explorations of the macrocosmic – including the glittering dark of the night sky – and the microcosmic: small clusters or colonies of spiders, jellyfish, seeds held together in precarious moments of transition. “I do see life through that Taoist perspective – life and death as seen through the spiral”.
The title is taken from ukiyo-e (translated as Floating Worlds), a popular form of printed art developed during the Edo period of Japan (1600-1867) and associated with the pleasure-seeking aspects of city life as typified by brothels, tea houses and kabuki theatre. In her use of ink and paint she allows the natural processes of her medium to impact on the imagery, crystallising moments in nature on the apparent brink of floating away or disappearing altogether.