2013.09.30 Mon, by Translated by: 顾灵
Peng Jian, “Books of the Unknown”

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.

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