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Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 16:43

'Art is my lifetime friend'


A life devoted to painting

Peng later became a painter at the Beijing Fine Art Academy around 2007 and started her free-style of life as a professional artist.

Without the necessity to work on deadline, Peng still stuck to a routine of everyday painting.

"I once thought I would spend most of my time having fun when I was freed from normal work; I did not, I still stayed at home and painted and painted," smiled Peng.

The continuous work and exploration meant she could work on more creations. She painted on plastic mannequins, put Chinese erotic paintings in shoes, and copied letters of Western musicians and writers in Chinese and attached them to her ink paintings. She also painted characters from the Bible and Renaissance paintings on Chinese-style fans.

"For me, there is no such thing as 'inspiration'. Every creation comes from my continuous work," said Peng.

"I was once stuck in a 'bottle neck' but I think if I keep on painting, things will turn to the bright side again," she said.

Erotic art on shoes and "Remote Letters" series among her works were specially highlighted.

"I like Chinese erotic art, yet most of the traditional ones are not elegant due to their pretty thick colors. And almost there were no famous ancient Chinese artists had such works," Peng said.

Peng put these paintings in white tough silk shoes. According to her, the quality of the half-transparent texture matches well to the meaning of erotic art.

"In my eyes, these paintings only relate to beauty, not to sex. If focusing on sex itself, it is impossible to paint anything," said Peng.

And Peng also put her copied letters and paintings that seemingly have no relation together in her series, "Remote Letters".

Featuring landscapes and figures, the series is a combination of the Western and the Oriental, picturing a modern story under the cover of traditional Chinese ink painting.

In one work, Father and Me, Peng painted a boy and his father in ancient Chinese clothes walking through the mountains. A copy of a letter from Ludwig Van Beethoven to his father was attached.

"This painting is based on my experience. My father once accompanied me to attend many examinations. I pictured the child as a boy on purpose, for when I was young I often thought I was a boy," laughed Peng.

Female artists, no more obscure

Despite picturing herself as a boy in her works, Peng rarely found any special obstacles to being a female artist.

"According to my experience, we women artists get similar respect and achievements with males in China, compared to other Asian countries," said Peng.

"Being a woman can also let your works get special attention due to the feminine elements they may have, yet it depends. In some fields, people still think that male artists might perform better than women. For example, a master of traditional Chinese painting is often pictured as an old man in people's mind," said Peng.

Once a critic thought Peng was an old man after seeing her works, and was surprised by her young age when he learned she was a woman.

When asked if she minded people adding "beauty" before her title as an artist because of her good looks, she smiled and nodded.

"To some degree I don't like it," she said. "'Beauty' has become an over-used word in China nowadays. And adding 'beauty' before the title is a sort of ignorance of the true value of a woman artist."

'Art is my lifetime friend'
Peng Wei's artwork series "Remote Letters" (Photo provided to

'Art is my lifetime friend'
White tough silk shoes with Chinese erotic art. (Photo provided to

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