Claire Engkaninan Low

All Monsters Are Real, 2023

81 × 20 cm
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. 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.

Claire Engkaninan Low is a Sydney-based visual artist and writer living on Cammeraygal land.

Claire’s work connects with themes of horror, sustainability and her identity as an Asian Australian. Her recent work ‘All Monsters Are Real’ won the Reused/Recycled Materials Award in the 2023 Reimagine Art Prize presented by Hornsby Shire Council.


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