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Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 16:43

'Art is my lifetime friend'

'Art is my lifetime friend'
Peng Wei's painting on a plastic mannequin. (Photo/provided to

"I think all the sorrows and frustrations come from life itself, say, money, relations with others…yet painting calms me down," painter Peng Wei said.

Peng was at her work studio, a large loft in Beijing's Chaoyang district, on a sunny afternoon.

Wearing light green eye shadow, she wore the same color cardigan, bearing a similar style in her works: a combination of contemporary art and traditional Chinese paintings.

"For me, art is a good friend, a lifetime companion," she smiled.

Father's teaching at an early age

As a daughter of painter Peng Xiancheng, Peng started to learn painting from her father when she was three to four years old. Her father's guidance gave Peng a good start for her later commitment to painting.

"One of the things my father taught me is the attitude to painting. If you want to learn painting, you should love it first and never expect to get something from it. And once you've started, you must stick to it," Peng said when she recalled her father's teaching.

Like those children who were called "genius" at an early age, young Peng also met the difficulty of "losing talent quickly" after getting some awards. Her child-like style of painting can't follow her age and she stopped painting for a long time.

Only before the college entrance examination did she set her mind on painting again.

"At that time, I found painting was still the only thing I was really good at," she said.

Then Peng started studying painting at Nankai University in Tianjin and later began master's degree studies in philosophy and aesthetics at the same school.

Full-time journalist, part-time painter

However, she did not make a living as a painter after graduation.

"No one can feed themselves by painting at the start. I also needed to find a job in Beijing, or I had to rely on my parents," Peng said.

Her first job was as a journalist for Art, a journal published by the China Artists Association. Being a reporter did not stop her painting. She often picked up her brushes after work.

"I was young then and had endless energy to go on painting after work," she recalled.

On the one hand, she reported on exhibitions and wrote stories about artists as a journalist; on the other hand, she created her own works as an artist.

It was this period that Peng started painting her clothes series and came to a realization bit by bit.

After seven years, she resigned.

"I did not quit my job for painting. In fact, I never thought of being a full-time painter. Painting, to me, is something I do with no special purpose or intention," answered Peng when being asked the reason for resignation.

'Art is my lifetime friend'
Peng Wei's painting. (Photo provided to

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