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The Ghost and The Manaia Kim Lowe and Simon Kaan


Kim Lowe, Rosie and the Dragon's Ghost, 2011, Relief print on paper, 380mm x 550mm Simon Kaan, Manaia, 2011, Intaglio wood engraving, 1000mm x 710mm


Building D, Level 1, East Corridor



Lowe and Kaan together visually explore the strong historical ties between Maori and Chinese within the predominantly Anglo-Celtic narrative of New Zealand culture. Despite there having been an established Chinese presence in New Zealand at least since the gold rushes of the 1860s New Zealand Chinese culture(s) and its/their interaction with Maori and Pakeha (European) culture has largely been marginalised by the monolithic nature of New Zealand’s official Maori/Pakeha biculturalism, enshrining the founding Treaty of Waitangi (1840).

This exhibition will represent a much more complex and nuanced vision of a blended reality of New Zealand identity that over time has never fitted tidily into boxes. An important note in particular is struck in terms of the strong historical ties between Maori and Chinese as animistic peoples marginalised by the dominant Pakeha/European narrative – but with a warmth and generosity that belies any postcolonial bitterness. The European (predominantly Anglo-Celtic) tradition is given due regard. Important questions are asked about the nature of contemporary New Zealand identity and how it may be reflected in a visual medium in ways that do not reek of the stale kitsch of corporate and government appropriated design.                                 Andrew Paul Wood

Simon Kaan is of Chinese, Ngai Tahu and Pakeha (NZ European) ancestry. He completed a DFA(hons) at Otago Polytechnic, School of Fine Art in 1993 and has exhibited widely in New Zealand in both public and dealer galleries. In 2004 Simon Kaan undertook the Red Gate Gallery Residency in Beijing with the support of Creative
New Zealand.

Kim Lowe is of Chinese and Pakeha ancestry and completed a Masters of Fine Arts (distinction) in Printmaking at Canterbury University, Christchurch in 2009. She participated in the 2010 Pacific Rim International Print Exhibition at SOFA Gallery Christchurch, and was a finalist in both the 2009 and 2010 NZ Painting and Printmaking Awards and the 2010 Bold Horizon NZ Contemporary Art Awards. She has exhibited in solo and group shows throughout New Zealand and is represented by Brooke Gifford Gallery in Christchurch.






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