Painting Ink Sculpture

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Lv Peng

Lv Peng’s Theatre of the Mind: Tally Beck

When we think of theatricality in contemporary Chinese art, we are likely to conjure up the bold experimentation of performance art pieces: Sheng Qi tethers a chicken to his genitalia, Zhang Huan sits nude, slathered with fish oil and covered in flies, in a Beijing public toilet, and Cai Guo-Qiang sets the landscape ablaze with his orchestrated explosions. These are powerful expressions, but they are confined to the reality of the material world. Lv Peng reveals a fantastic, theatrical world in two dimensions.
The charming grace notes that contribute to the sumptuous composition are born of spontaneity
Tally Beck

Lv Peng creates in ink on paper and acrylic on canvas with equal facility. Regardless of medium, he constructs his paintings like fanciful stage sets. The background builds forward like a sequence of diaphanous backdrops, but the scenes are usually groundless; his players and their props float and fly, intertwined in a maelstrom of activity. An expert colourist, Lv Peng heightens the drama by enveloping his figures in billowing swaths of fabric in saturated hues.
After the Rain is an example of one of Lv Peng’s more exuberant works. A celebration of sunshine after a spring rain, the work features quotations from classic poetry. A modern Chinese couple dominate the upper section of the canvas. Their sumptuous silk outfits dance in the light as their visages react with intense interest to an unknown event offstage. Several small flags adorn the woman’s back: a reference to Beijing opera’s nod to the traditional warrior’s practice of carrying protective banners on his most vulnerable side.

The woman delicately handles a slender spear that obliquely bisects the composition and provides a stable, linear counterpoint to the swirling forms around it. Beneath the spear, a contorted horse dominates the centre of the canvas. The muscular beast bucks in mid-air. He is riderless, and his genitals are readily visible. He represents freedom and limitlessness. One of his hooves threatens to interfere with a copulating couple. These two are an unmistakable reference to sixteenth-century erotic Chinese art. The man wears the robes of a mid-level imperial court official, while the woman sports tiny, deformed feet shaped by binding. As is the case with its antecedent, this erotic image is rather passionless but depends on surrounding attributes to lend it sensuality. Here, the background is a sybaritic magenta cloud, and the sturdy branch between the man’s legs is an effective symbol of his erotic enthusiasm.
The charming grace notes that contribute to the sumptuous composition are born of spontaneity: the obliterated face on the man below, the menacing mask on the woman’s shoulder above as well as her curious sporting of only one sock are all decisions that the artist himself cannot explain. He states that he creates these peculiarities in the moment. This allowance for serendipity combined with his painterly style creates the dynamic richness that characterises all of Lv Peng’s works.


Born in Beijing, China
Capital Normal University Dept. of Fine Arts, Bachelor Degree of Arts
PHD Student at Chinese Painting Dept., Central Academy of Fine
Arts (CAFA), Beijing

Teacher at Fine Arts Dept. of Beijing College of Education

Solo Exhibitions

Lost Realm by Lv Peng, Red Gate Gallery
Empty Age, Dialogue Space of Art, Beijing
Empty City, Plum Blossoms Gallery, Hong Kong
Empty City, Le Feuvre Gallery, Paris
Lv Peng, Red Gate Gallery
Wandering at Ease (2), 798 Avant Gallery, New York
Wandering at Ease, Plum Blossoms, Hong Kong
A Fighting World of Female Beauty (2), Red Gate Gallery
A Fighting World of Female Beauty (1), Chinese Contemporary, London
Memory, Qing Ping Gallery, Boston
Realm of Red, Red Gate Gallery
Capital Night, Red Gate Gallery
Capital Night, Chinese Contemporary
Through the Wall, Chinese Contemporary
The Edge, Chinese Contemporary
Floating – Small Works, Tayuan Apartments Block, Beijing
Lv Peng – Small Works, Mingzhu Gallery, Beijing
Chinese Small Works, Friendship Hotel, Beijing

Group Exhibitions

Two Generations - 20 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art, 2012 Australian Tour: City of Sydney Chinese New Year; Manning Regional Gallery; Damien Minton Gallery; University of Newcastle Gallery; Melbourne International Fine Arts (MiFA); Linton & Kay, Perth
20 Years – Two Generations of Artists at Red Gate, island6 Art Center, Shanghai
20 Years – Two Generations of Artists at Red Gate, Red Gate Gallery
Illusory World (2), Mulan Gallery, Singapore
Yellow Gate, Gwangju Museum Art, Gwangju
Academic Classics Exhibition of Meticulous Paper Works, Hubei Museum of Art
Water and Color, Today Art Museum, Beijing
Midway China Tour, Beijng, Tianjing, Xiamen, Shanghai
Midway Australian Tour, Wollongong, Sydney
Illusory Worlds, Mulan Gallery, Singapore
From Nature to Mind, National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), Beijing
Scent of Ink, Dialogue Space of Art, Beijing
Academic Chinese Painting, Gallery of National Academy of Fine Art, Beijing
Miniature & Delicacies, Zhejiang Museum of Art, Hangzhou
Telltale Paintings, Dialogue Space of Art, Beijing
Orient Imagination 2008, Wall Art Museum, Beijing
Chinese Inks, Catherine Schubert Fine Art, Bangkok
30 years in Chinese Contemporary Art, National Theatre
Assembling Under the Five Rings, Art Media Center
Go Game Beijing, Soemo
Red Gate Stars, Red Gate Gallery
SCOPE, New York

Contemporary Asian Art, Robischon Gallery, Denver
Document of Chinese Contemporary Art, Wall Art Museum
Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Deauville Asian Film Festival, Deauville
Sovereign Asia Art Prize Finalists Exhibition, Sovereign Art Exhibition, Hong Kong
The Chinese Contemporary Art Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Chinese Contemporary Art Collection, Huston Art Museum, Huston
Visual Contemporary, Millennium Art Museum of China, Beijing
Oriental Imagination, NAMOC, Beijing
New Ink Art, Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai
To the Watchtower: Red Gate Gallery’s 15th Anniversary
New Ink Painting, Zhu Qizhan Art Gallery, Shanghai
Frontline (2), Plum Blossoms, Hong Kong
Dreaming, Holy Oriental Gallery, Shanghai, Beijing
"Du" Expressions of Chinese Contemporary Ink Painting, Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts
Radar, Contemporary Art from China, Denver Museum of Art, Denver Under the Radar, Robischon Gallery, Denver
Made in China, Young Chinese Contemporary Artists, Opera Gallery, London
Document of Chinese Contemporary Art, Millennium Art Museum of China
Today's Art in China, NAMOC, Beijing
Observing the Senses, Red Gate Gallery
Portrait Paintings from Collage Art, Today Art Museum
Frontline, Plum Blossoms
New Generation, Goedhuis Gallery, New York
Les Cent Fleurs, Villa Tamaris Center d’Art, France
Chinese Fine Art, International Art Palace, Beijing
Crowds and Voids 11 + 1, Art Scene China Gallery, Shanghai
Microcosmic and Delicate, NAMOC
2nd Chinese Art Exhibition, Xinghai International Exhibition Centre, Dalian
Harmony / Unusual, International Art Palace
Festival of Youth’s Art, Today Art Gallery
Chinese Art of the Contemporary, Piltzer, Paris
Legend of China, Yi Dian Gallery, Shanghai
China Contemporary Fine Art, NAMOC
Clues to the Future – Red Gate Gallery’s 10th Anniversary
Past – Present, Art Center of Silpakorn University, Bangkok
Between the Lines, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney
Transparent, Opacity? 14 Artists Contemporairis Chinois, ACACA, Paris
China 46 Contemporary Chinese Art (2), Melbourne
China 46 Contemporary Chinese Art (1), Taiwan Hoke Art Gallery, Shanghai
5000 + 10 Chinese Art, Bilbao, Spain
Black & White, Chinese Contemporary
New Art from the PR of China, Lamont Gallery, Boston
Between the Lines, Lee Gallery & Studio Lido Park, Beijing
Adventures of the Three Travel Weary Loafers 3, Arvada Center, Colorado
Life on the Fringe, Lee, Gallery & Studio Lido Park, Beijing
Contemporary Chinese Art, Chinese Contemporary, London
Life on the Edge, Three Travel Weary Loafers 2, International Art Palace
Small Chinese Inks, Soobin Art Gallery, Singapore
Three Travel Weary Loafers 1, Beijing Contemporary Arts
Three Travel Weary Loafers Preliminary Exhibition, Tower Garden, Beijing
Chinese Art of the 1990s, Chinese History Museum, Beijing
Young Artists, CAFA
Ink Paintings from Young Artists, Beijing Contemporary Arts


Collections in Germany, U.S.A., Shenzhen, France, Australia, Austria, Germany, Hong Kong and also a lot of private collections.


My new work (Leaving the Garden of Dreams) searches the relationship between image and character. The relationship is a combination of inner configuration and interaction - it expresses the fall of the human race into a trance that is the current contemporary dream.

9 am - 5 pm Daily
Levels 1 & 4,
Dongbianmen Watchtower,
Dongcheng, Beijing
Beijing International Post Office
Box No. 9039,
Beijing, China 100600
(+86 10) 6525 1005
[email protected]
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