Peng Jian, “Books of the Unknown”

From Randian

By Iona Whittaker

Translated by Ling

彭剑, 《未知之书》;展览:《新水墨——第一回展》

Hadrien de Montferrand画廊(北京市朝阳区酒仙桥路4号798艺术区内)2013年8月31日起展出


北京798艺术区Hadrien de Montferrand画廊新展《新水墨——第一回展》展出彭剑的《未知之书》(”Books of the Unknown”,2013),蓝色背景前机智轻巧地叠着一摞书,好似当代版的建筑工笔画,遥相呼应宋代工笔之盛。于此,工笔并非勾勒建筑、而描画书本,通过这种绘画技艺所达成的画面质感使书本显得抽象轻盈,好像飘摇一变身,恍为他物——恰喻其未知之内涵。背景墙则呼应着20年代的印刷审美。彭剑参展的另一件作品《一米之外》(”One Metre Away”,2011)则是透过朦胧窗格依稀望都市之景的苍白描绘。既装饰、亦深沉,不失为悦心佳作。

Peng Jian, “Books of the Unknown”, color and ink on paper, 39 × 38.4 inches, 2013
彭剑,《无名之书》,纸本设色,99 × 97.5 cm,2013

Peng Jian,“One Meter Away No.1”, color and ink on paper, 47.2 × 39.4 inches, 2011
彭剑,《一米以外No.1》,纸本设色,120 × 100 cm,2011

Peng Jian, “Books of the Unknown”, part of the group exhibition “New Ink, Chapter 1”.

Hadrien de Montferrand Gallery (798 Art District, No 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015). Aug 31, 2013—ongoing

Perhaps, for ink painting, color is the new black.

“Books of the Unknown” (2013) by Peng Jian is on show as part of “New Ink, Chapter 1” at Hadrien de Montferrand gallery in 798. It is a smart, tight composition of a stack of books on a blue ground, making contemporary use of the ruled-line architectural painting tradition (jiehua) which had its heyday in the Song dynasty in the 10th Century. Applied here to books rather than buildings, this technique achieves a graphic quality whereby the books start to appear abstract and weightless, as if about to float out sideways and become something else—an intriguing metaphor for their unknown content. The geometric patterned background of the wall behind them echoes a 20th-century print aesthetic. Peng Jian’s second work in the exhibition, “One Metre Away” (2011), is a faint depiction of an urban view barely seen through pale window screens. At once decorative and with depth, these works are a pleasure to find.

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