Peng Si

Oil on canvas
50 x 40cm




I paint figures not for the sake of portraiture, rather it is about my pursuit for the ineffable, therefore it is developing and uncertain, like an adventure. The awe-inspiring views are the correspondence between the picturesque and the spiritual.

Peng Siwas born in Hunan, China, and studied at the Central Academy of Art. He is a figurative painter who sought to combine ancient Chinese images with classical temperament. He continues to explore the possibilities of portraiture.

Interview of Peng Si

Q1: To what extent are your recent works different from your previous ones?

A1: Recently I focussed on facial features, which is a closeup view of my past portrait. Regarding forms, the element of uncertainty became apparent, however, my idea is still evolving in the process, which corresponds with the status of my recent work. 


Q2: Can you talk about how the pandemic affected your art-making and life?

A2: Because of the pandemic I profoundly re-examined the problems in my life and art-making: significantly losing focus. Also because of the pandemic, I underwent self-isolation in Beijing, adjusting the balance between life and work, and the result turns out to be great. It has improved the realisation of my current paintings.

Q3: American scholar Richard Vinograd in discussing ancient Chinese portraiture used the term “the boundary of the self”, do you think your portraits entered some sort of boundaries? 

A3: Yes, I somehow can feel a complicated and careful selective process. For example, sometimes within a glance, I would know what to depict. What is my first sight impulse? Even Though I do not have a clear demand, but some of the figures (for instance, the elders) are ruled out by me subjectively. I wonder if this can be called “the boundary of the self”. Meanwhile, I am not definitely certain that I can recognise my boundary in art-making immediately, but looking forward to its self-growth. 


Q4: Could you talk about the advantage and disadvantage of presenting your works online?

A4L I personally think there more disadvantages, because the original painting can convey more sensitive elements, while if it is online, the authenticity would appear blurry.