JIANG Pengyi

b. 1977, Yuanjiang, Hunan Province, China

Jiang Pengyi graduated from the Beijing Institute of Art and Design in 1999 and the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou in 2014. He has been awarded the Aletti ArtVerona Prize for Photography in 2011, the Jury Grand Prize from the Société Générale Chinese Art Awards in 2010 and the Tierney Fellowship Award from the First Annual Three Shadows Photography Award in 2009. Jiang was invited to participate in the Helsinki Photography Biennial 2012 and was nominated for the Prix Pictet 2012. His work is collected by CAFA Art Museum (China); DSL Collection (France); Frac des Pays de la Loire (France); Fondazione Banca Aletti (Italy); Guy & Myriam Ullens Foundation Collection (Switzerland); Kadist Art Foundation (France and USA); Tierney Family Foundation (USA); UniCredit Art Collection (Italy and Germany) and White Rabbit Contemporary Chinese Art Collection (Australia). He currently lives and works in Beijing, China.

From the ruinous cityscapes in All Back to Dust (2006-2007) and Unregistered City (2008-2010), to the mystic fluorescence in Luminant (2008), Jiang has been actively exploring the range of expression in the techniques and materiality of digital photography. The turn from the figurative to the abstract starting from Everything Illuminates (2012) signifies a crucial pivot from exteriority and representation to interiority and time. The evolution of his practice demonstrates the path he has taken to rethink the nature of photography and distill its essence, an essence so universal that it transcends the divide between the digital and the analogue, culminating in the use of film and instant film materials in series such as Dark Addiction (2013), The Suspended Moment (2013), Intimacy (2014) and Void (2016).

About In Some Time (2015-16)
In Some Time is an extension of Intimacy series, in which Jiang utilizes an analogue technique on photographic film that he has perfected over many incarnations and incantations. The artist is effectively using photography to paint with light. In the dark room, Jiang orchestrated the contact of coloured fluorescent papers against a 4x5 large format photographic film. The former absorbs and emits light in a chemical reaction, while the latter registers and fixes the light reflection by a silver-salt reaction. This process is carefully controlled, as every extra second in duration or millimeter in distance produces varying results. Despite the high level of manipulation and choreography, the effect is unperceivable until the film is developed. The process is as much about the mastery of photo-chemistry as the pursuit of accidental beauty. Like the recipient film in his dark room, the artist develops a radically open orientation to the contingencies, accidents and uncertainties of light, time and life.
Exhibition of "PARIS PHOTO 2016" (10 - 13.11.2016)

About Everything Illuminates (2012)
In contrast to his early works, his latest series Everything Illuminates are images of still objects glowing in the dark. These abstract and nearly surreal images suggest the artist’s changing focus back to original form and shape, at the same time reflect his current state of mind.
Exhibition details of "Everything Illuminates" (5.10 – 2.11.2013)

About Unregistered City (2008-2010) and Luminant (2008)
Jiang’s early works illuminate the rapid development of town planning and architecture in contemporary China as an alternate sampling of capitalization and globalization, and how it excludes and erases all elements of an ancient culture. The Unregistered City series reveals the illusory nature of the city and the world, while the Luminant series manifests the detachment from reality in today’s mainland Chinese cities.
Exhibition details of ART HK 12 (17 – 20.5.2012)

Exhibition details of "Luminant" (4.5 – 2.6.2012)

About All Back To Dust (2006-2007)
Jiang's early work All Back to Dust, massive real-life buildings turn into miniatures and are placed among junk, brushed aside like forgotten beings. Through his expression, Jiang sets out to override the rapid urbanization in the city and to unmask its illusory nature.
Exhibition details of "A Departure from Reality III" (3.9 – 30.10.2010)

Essay: "How to Make Vitality and Time Visible: The Logic of Jiang Pengyi's Art Creation" by Luan Zhichao
Essay: "The Visualization of Destruction: About Jiang Pengyi's Photography" by Gu Zheng
Artist Biography

Media coverage (Asian Art News, May/June 2012)
Media Coverage (Hong Kong Gallery Guide, 10.2010)
Media coverage (South China Morning Post, 26.10.2010)
Media coverage (The Bulletin, September 2010)