Yu Peng, was born in Taipei in 1955, passed away in 2014.
He is a representative figure in the history of contemporary ink painting in Taiwan. He was well known for his sketching of situational landscape paintings with white lines, both classical and modern. Known as the ‘Ancient Person of Today’, Yu Peng’s paintings show a magnificently distinct style of Chinese ink painting perfectly reflecting his heroic spirit. Referencing the proportionate perspective skill of Western art, his works also displays an artistic charm in a delicate and rich way.
In 1980, Yu Peng traveled to the United States and Europe, which inspired him to rethink the fundamentals of culture. In 1986, during a chance trip to China, his creations started a new period of ink painting that incorporated both past and present. In the 1990s, Yu once again traveled to China and completed his iconic works such as ‘Landscape of Lust Series’ including the 10 screens of the ‘Landscape Series’, the 4 scrolls of ‘Landscapes at Sea’, and the ‘Figure Series’. In the latter work, there are 300 characters interspersed across a garden landscape across a 13-meter-length paper metaphorically presenting people’s lives and deaths.
Yu Peng once said, ‘it is essential for individuals to begin from life in order for art to return to life; subsequently, art will finally be congenial to people and the environment, and there will become a kind of commonality between life and art.' The curator Wu Chaoran believes that ‘Yu Peng's exercise, understanding, and dissection of sketch lines are Western style, but the brush and China paper he used is Chinese classical. How to integrate both is actually a battle. What he created is contemporary scenario-like landscapes. He, himself, his relatives and friends have been drawn into the paintings. Some of them are fantasy transformation, but some are also reality. He seems to consciously wish to return to the ancient times, yet his true intention, ultimately, is just false utopian imagination.’
Yu's unique new ink style is widely collected by major museums and art galleries around the world. The British Museum in the United Kingdom, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, Harvard Art Museums, Hong Kong M+ Museum, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, amongst others.
Press release courtesy Liang Gallery.