Born in Taipei in 1969, PENG Hung-Chih graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Normal University in 1992, and further advanced his studies in the U.S., with a master’s degree from the San Francisco Art Institute received in 1997. After his graduation, he began a career in art, and is currently based in both Taipei and Beijing. Peng is the winner of the SOCA new artist award in 1998, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space Award in 2006, the 5th Taishin Arts Award for Visual Arts in 2007. He has also participated in residency programs in Hong Kong Arts Centre, O.K Center for Contemporary Art in Australia, the International Studio & Curatorial Program and the OMI International Arts Center in New York, and the Sacatar Foundation Brazil. With extensive experiences both nationally and internationally, he has actively participated in international exhibitions, such as the Fukuoka Triennale in Japan and the Gwangju Biennale in Korea. Peng specializes in using a variety of media, such as video, sculpture, object and installation, to reveal the power struggles hidden in the contemporary society.
In a collection of ten videos, PENG Hung-Chih writes ten different religious scriptures with oil and then offers them to be freely licked and eaten by a dog. The dog of formerly inferior existence in the society is granted the chance for a turnover and takes on the controversial role of being the oracle bearer and also the alternative vision proclaimer. Peng’s objective is to raise questions for the intrinsic quality of religion and sacredness, and what kind of reflexive relationship should these highly revered subjects in the human world maintain with us in this contemporary era?
Hidden power context seems to have a profound attraction for PENG Hung-Chih. The powers in our modern society have not only constructed our subjectivity, they have also shaped the mechanism that controls the will. In his 1999 artwork, Siao-Pai, a hidden camera was installed on the dog, Siao-Pai, to draw out an alternative perspective based on the dog’s perspective. It also hints at the subversion of the power relation – with the positions of the gazer and the gazed switched. Treating dogs as an alternative subject is often incorporated in his creative vernaculars, with the dogs taking on active roles. His works like One Eye Ball and Expansion Underground require the audience to alter their viewing perspectives, and by changing the way they perceive the world, opportunities are presented for people to reflect on their own awareness and to redefine existing value systems through the sensory approach.
For PENG Hung-Chih, alienated freedom is implied within the internalization of perception, the overflow of products and consumption symbols, and even the division between the sacred and secular worlds. He rebels against the dominance of society by artistically subverting the order of a text. His inversion of characters and subversion of ordinary settings inspire people to imagine a different existence. His 2001 Little Danny, 2002 As Firm as Rock, 2006 God Pound, 2007 Pieta / Kuan Yin, 2008 Canine Monk, and other series of works have all completely alternated the subjective positions. Especially with works containing religious connotations, the revealer of sacred things has been replaced by the formerly classified "second-class" animals. Based on these works, we can see that Peng’s art not only deconstructs preexisting perceptions; during the pursuit of subjective freedom, the various tensions stemmed from ethics and order in the modern society are also narrated.
|English title：||Canine Monk|
|Medium / Classification：||New Media and Video|
|Collection Unit：||Courtesy of the artist|
|Contact method for authorization：||
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1961-1970|
|Related Work：||To Dress up at Home - 5|