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#Legend - - HIGHLIGHTS -

Mrs M rep­re­sents the un­ex­pected rise of hip-hop in Mon­go­lia

What does art mean to you?

It’s my job and also my life – it’s some­thing that makes me re­lax.

Who are your main in­spi­ra­tions?

If in­spi­ra­tions ac­tu­ally ex­ist, I would say that they only come up in my mind when I con­tinue work­ing. You can never seek in­spi­ra­tion when you’re just talk­ing with­out any ac­tion. I be­lieve in a good work­ing con­di­tion.

You have a back­ground in phi­los­o­phy and lit­er­a­ture; how does that trans­late into your art? Are Chi­nese clas­sics at the cen­tre of your work?

It’s dif­fi­cult to say how it trans­lates into my art. I only have a brief in­ter­est and knowl­edge in phi­los­o­phy and lit­er­a­ture. Every artist shows his pas­sions and an­i­mosi­ties in his works, and so do I. I only utilise those things I love in my work and some­how, they’re all rel­e­vant to lit­er­a­ture. I don’t think of them as “phi­los­o­phy” and “lit­er­a­ture” when I adopt them; I just make the con­tent. I be­lieve all read­ers, es­pe­cially peo­ple who en­joy read­ing art, try to find them­selves through art. I also look for my­self through read­ing and do­ing art – for those who have re­grets or who want to be­come bet­ter ver­sions of them­selves.

Chi­nese clas­sics are not at the cen­tre of my work – some of my works also bor­row el­e­ments from Western Re­nais­sance fres­coes or Per­sian art, and some el­e­ments also come from my present life ex­pe­ri­ences, such as the fash­ion tastes of an ur­ban fe­male. I look back to the past with the eye­sight of con­tem­po­rary peo­ple, in­clud­ing Chi­nese and Western clas­sics, as well as past val­ues that are ne­glected by peo­ple nowa­days.

What was your fa­ther’s re­ac­tion when you told him that you wanted to be an artist?

He said: “What a re­lief, you bought a lot of paint­ing al­bums but you will never waste them – and now you can give them all to me!”

Con­tem­po­rary art is in­creas­ingly shap­ing col­lec­tive mem­o­ries and per­cep­tions in China, es­pe­cially among mil­len­ni­als and the younger gen­er­a­tions. Do you think it’s very dif­fer­ent from the past? Why has it changed so rapidly?

Con­tem­po­rary art gives us an op­por­tu­nity to view things through more per­spec­tives. In the works, there are no artis­tic lim­its or bound­aries at all. In my work, it’s way more dif­fi­cult to be “free” than hav­ing rules. It chal­lenges us to have the abil­ity to use our own ex­pe­ri­ence and turn it into art.

How­ever, I dis­agree that it’s changed rapidly. It is hard to change the way hu­man na­ture re­acts. It’s just more about show­ing dif­fer­ent skills and us­ing many tech­niques, and maybe it isn’t en­tirely a good thing for artists be­cause nowa­days, pro­duc­ing new works be­comes more im­por­tant than the art it­self. For me, there are only dif­fer­ences be­tween good and bad.

What do you think of the art scene in the coun­try?

I just keep an eye on it and then go back in my stu­dio to cre­ate my own work.

Why and how did you be­gin to paint shoes?

I looked at the shoes and thought, “Th­ese shoes look so pretty; why not?” That’s how it all be­gan.

Tell us more about your col­lab­o­ra­tion with Joyce.

I’m so sur­prised and hon­oured that my works from 10 years ago can still be in­spi­ra­tional to Joyce.

Would you say that Chi­nese ink paint­ing is a way to pre­serve old tra­di­tions?

Not re­ally, be­cause my style is way dif­fer­ent from the tra­di­tional paint­ing, from brain­storm­ing the idea to work­ing on the process.

Do your ex­hi­bi­tions rep­re­sent your de­vel­op­ment as an artist and as a per­son?

All of my works rep­re­sent my past. Of course, some of them do rep­re­sent my per­son­al­ity, for sure. Ex­hi­bi­tions are as­sem­blies of my mem­o­ries.

I would de­fine many of your works as po­etic and har­monic, both for their sub­jects and the way they are por­trayed. Do you agree?

I al­ways try to look for a balance be­tween the past and present – you can prob­a­bly say that it is har­mony…

Your oeu­vre merges dif­fer­ent me­dia, from ink paint­ing to in­stal­la­tion and pho­tog­ra­phy. Do you think it’s im­por­tant for con­tem­po­rary artists to use dif­fer­ent tech­niques and plat­forms?

Dif­fer­ent tech­niques can por­tray dif­fer­ent kind of ex­pres­sions and feel­ings. From ink paint­ing to in­stal­la­tion, th­ese forms co­in­cide and con­nect closely with the con­tent and the mean­ing. We can’t sep­a­rate the mes­sage from the way it’s por­trayed and the plat­form used to ex­press my in­ner thoughts, which are ex­cep­tional and unique.

For in­stance, I use a very tra­di­tional and clas­si­cal style of paint­ing to paint on the hand­crafted silk shoes be­cause it is one of the best ways to draw ex­quis­ite mo­tifs on small gar­ments, the can­vas. The art­works are ba­si­cally in­spired by my own pair of flats. I put the erotic art paint­ings on the soles be­cause I hope to keep them a lit­tle hid­den, to have a sort of pri­vacy when it comes to love and beauty. #

“I al­ways try to look for a balance be­tween the past and present – you can prob­a­bly say that it is har­mony” PENG WEI

Pes­sian Capric­cio, Peng Wei

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