AmC Junko’s Furisode
Amy Couling is a Japanese kiwi visual artist based in Ōtautahi Christchurch. She grew up as a bilingual, bicultural kid of Japan and Aotearoa New Zealand.
Couling gained a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Visual Art at Ara Institute of Canterbury in 2020. She has successfully run two self curated solo shows since graduating.
Couling’s work is heavily influenced by her Japanese heritage and she draws inspiration from the rich symbolism in kimono patterns, ukiyoe woodblock prints and her own family history. Her work is largely figurative and incorporates flat planes, soft colours, matte textures and detailed line work reminiscent of traditional Japanese paintings and ukiyoe prints.
Couling primarily works with gouache on paper, but she has also worked with porcelain in ceramics and silk screen printing on textiles to create her own kimono. Her work is held in private collections in Japan and Aotearoa New Zealand.
My art practice is an ongoing exploration of identity, place and belonging. My work is informed by the nuanced perceptions of society that I gained from growing up at the intersection of two distinct Eastern and Western cultures.
Representation of Japanese people, especially Japanese women, has historically been sexualised, exoticised and appropriated by Western art and media and it has often been rife with misinformation about Japanese culture. My work pushes back on those notions by portraying empowering images of Japanese women and showcasing Japan’s rich cultural background through the kimono.
I have always had a passion for the kimono, Japan’s national garment, which is deeply imbued with cultural symbolism through traditional patterns, materials and how it is worn at specific events. My work encourages people to see the beauty of the kimono and understand its cultural significance in Japan, and to revive interest in it for younger generations to come.
18th Jan 2023 - 4th Feb 2023: David Woodings – Magdelane Clare – Amy Couling