Artist Statement

A curtain with a floral pattern. Randomly arranged potted plants. Bird-shaped rebar. Dying weeds in front of a brick wall. The scenes I depict in my paintings are commonplace in suburban neighborhoods from Taiwan, to China, to the United States. There are two elements that appear repeatedly in my work: nature and man-made residential structures or objects. These elements never live alone- they are intermingled and interdependent. Plants that are contained, ignored, or defiantly springing up through concrete share the frame of the painting with remnants of previous eras of modernity and signs of domestic comfort. In some paintings, plants are relegated to a depiction of bamboo on a curtained window. In others gnarled vines cover a decaying tiled wall, dominating the picture plane. In my work, I ask, what is the place of nature in our contemporary life?

My paintings are made by taking walks with my camera through aging neighborhoods in the places where I live. I’m interested in the common suburban vernacular that exists in US, Taiwanese, and Chinese neighborhoods. There is a tenderness that is at turns lonely and neglected which holds my interest. The depth of each scene is defined not by the shadows or perspective, but by the tension between thinly stained surface and thickly applied paint, conveying a sense of the unnatural. There is a contrast between the often warm and vibrant palette, the mostly frontal composition, and the rigid structures that creates an experience of stiffness and uncertainty.

Contact

studiochenpeng@gmail.com