Handscroll, ink on paper
Overall: 179 x 31.5 cm (70 1/2 x 12 3/8 in.)
Gift of Su Mei Ho and John D. Daughenbaugh 2008.61
Yu Peng's agitated brushwork and inscribed poem evoke feelings of restlessness in a stormy atmosphere.
A small boat travels up the river before the rain, drifting along the winding course amid a vast expanse of mountains to reach a garden retreat, where long, zigzag walls are artfully designed for incorporating the shifting views of an exterior lotus pond. This dramatic ink landscape executed in the artist's typically bold and luxuriant style, in which he deftly manipulates solid and void.
In Taiwanese artist Yu Peng's paintings, there are often pastiche references to past styles, literati, and folk traditions alike, with no apology for mixing the "refined" with the "vulgar." Yu's art is a contemporary narrative of his own intimate experiences, his fantasies and dreams, his illusions and loss.
Viewed in the wider cultural context, the art of Yu Peng suggests not only a search for cultural roots and native identity in a rapidly changing political and social environment but also the many contradictions between past and present, island and country, rural and urban, that are so strongly felt in today's Taiwan.
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