Born in Miaoli in 1968, PENG Hsien-Hsiang comes from a Hakka community located in the mountains. Peng received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Tunghai University in 1992, and in 1998, he received his M.F.A from the Graduate Institute of Tainan National College of the Arts, Department of Plastic Arts. Since 1993, he was awarded for three consecutive years with the Taipei County Art Exhibition Awards. In 1996, he was awarded by the Da Dun Fine Arts Exhibition of Taichung City for the category of oil painting, and in 1997, he received the Taipei Award. Also in 1997, he was the recipient of the Vermont Studio Center Freeman Fellowship and participated in its artist-in-residency program. In 1998, he was awarded by the 1st Donghua Rotary Arts Award, and in 1999, selected as an artist-in-residence at Stock20 in Taichung. In 2000, Peng initiated the artist collective, Want Space. An artist of extensive national and international solo exhibition and group exhibition experiences, Peng is currently based in Taichung.
Homeland complex is often described as the key element for the Hakka ethnic consciousness, suggesting the existence of the so-called ethnic identity with the nature of its causes available for tracing back to its origin, which is explained with the seeming presence of the ancestors’ spirits and heartbeats in the natural surrounding of mountainous greens and flowing streams. Peng’s art opens for the dialectic debate and reflection with this notion, and raises the questions of where is this homeland? Whom does it involve? And what are its significances or restrictions? Is the ethnic “siege” constructed by the lineal ties of kinship a safe dwelling place, or is it a spirit-confining fortress?
As a Hakka descendant, it can be seen in Peng’s earlier works the focus on ethnicity and identity issues. Homeland is a memory that is inescapable, and is always tied with the artist’s sensitive spirit. The mixed emotions connecting the Hakka imprint and the individual entity have prompted him to begin creating the Hakka imagery series since 1992. After the lift of the martial law in Taiwan, in the wave of localization and subjectivity in art, Peng began reflecting on ethnic identity and cultural acceptance, with his art attracting the attention of the art community. But what exactly is this homeland he is referring to? In this rapidly changing modern time, how should one face the links of bloodline and familial ties, and also the conflicts between the original cultural identity and the neo-social relations? And how should the complex relationships between collective values and personal freedom be contemplated and dealt with? These issues have cast great impacts in our contemporary society, and in the midst of the multidirectional dynamism pertaining to identity and acceptance, memorable and profound depictions are offered to us through Peng’s art.
His iconic work, Homeland, and the contemporary ancestral portraits created in the mid-90s, as well as his Remote Village created at the end of the 90s are all works that are rich in colors and textures. Depicted with twisting and intricate lines and structures, these works are derived from his profound reflections for the issues of ethnic identity. His delicate portrayals allow us to feel the complex links embodied by bloodlines. The original narratives of ethnic groups are legend-like yet also exist amongst all of us and in our homes. The familial sentiments may be heavy, but they also embody the part held internally that we can’t break away from. The complex irony between the foreign land and the homeland and the modern experiences occurring in different regions are the subjects of the multiple narratives, with Peng successfully transforming them into vernaculars for contemporary art. After 2000, Peng began using red brick paste and old garments to create art, resulting in works that are rich with emotion and warmth, while also lasting with poetic beauty. Peng emphasizes the intrinsic relationship between the artist’s labor and the artistic medium that he or she adopts. He sees the making of art as a way to speak to one’s inner self. He also specializes in using different media to present psychological landscapes as if they have been depicted or sculpted spontaneously. Regardless of their hesitant and anxious, or sorrowful and heavy atmosphere, these artworks serve as metaphors of his different existential stages of life and his continuous, dedicated pursuit of the beauty of art.
|Medium / Classification：||Mixed Media|
|Collection Unit：||Collection of the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts|
|Contact method for authorization：||
KAOHSIUNG MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1961-1970|