Little Universe (2021 - 2022)
I use images of my dog and objects I treasure to create fantastical paintings that explore loss, longing, and the wish to feel grounded as an expatriate. I paint what I’m deeply connected to, both practically and sentimentally, ranging from my trustworthy drill, a kitschy thrift-store sweater, to a doodle of my dog that I framed and hung in my apartment. I take every object to my studio and paint from life, trying to capture the warmth within it. Sometimes, the object itself occupies the entire painting and becomes the painting. Other times, I erase its original surroundings and create an imagined space for the object to live in. There are one or more distinct borders or frames within each painting, creating multiple worlds. I use specific modes of painting to differentiate these worlds, where sometimes flatness, Trompe ‘l'oeil, and thickly applied paint co-exist. Each world offers a certain degree of truth or references to the reality. I am interested in the relationship between these worlds, and how it generates a sense of humor when they collide.

© Chen Peng 2023