Li Erpeng: Control

Li Erpeng: Control
Tang Contemporary Art
18 September–31 October 2021

Room. 201–206, River City Bangkok
23 Soi Charoenkrung 24
Talad noi, Sampantawong
Bangkok, 10100

Tang Contemporary Art is proud to announce the opening of Control, the latest solo exhibition for young Chinese artist Li Erpeng in its Bangkok space, from 18 September–31 October 2021. After Variance, this is Li’s second solo show at Tang Contemporary Art, presenting more than twenty brilliant works spanning the last two years.

Exhibition view: Li Erpeng, Control, Tang Contemporary Art, Bangkok (18 September–31 October 2021). Courtesy Tang Contemporary Art. 

Imagining forms of life is a source of creative inspiration for Li Erpeng. He transfers living things invented in his mind onto the canvas, representing them as soft, energetic forms in primary colours. Relationships between objects that do not offer any clear references serve as metaphors, and perceptions that are distant from everyday objects, are depicted through these heterogeneous relationships to build a deeper synesthesia in the works. Li believes, ‘For viewers, my work is like an AR mirror—people are able to see meaning wrapped around their bodies’.

As a Gen Z artist, Li Erpeng is happy to absorb the products of the contemporary information age; the virtual world and cyborgs are a part of everyday life. For him, the virtual and the real, the realist and the abstract blend into one another, without boundaries between them. He uses realist brushwork to depict an abstract spiritual world. Highly saturated colors and dramatic forms accelerate and magnify existing thought processes. The tangled forms and bold use of pure colour embody Li’s instinctive reactions, while also bringing the viewer into a happier state of mind.

Exhibition view: Li Erpeng, Control, Tang Contemporary Art, Bangkok (18 September–31 October 2021). Courtesy Tang Contemporary Art. 

Composition and politics are equally important in Li Erpeng’s work. Invented organisms, new chemically composed material elements, and pure, meaningless backgrounds highlight the boundaries of the material, creating a state of control that embodies both resistance and cooperation. Li’s organically constructed images invariably reflect a strong sense of power in both their origins and rationale.

At the same time, the images require orderly governance and open competition; the inherent tension between governance’s need for discipline and liberation’s pursuit of freedom is unleashed. In the present era of social transformation, discontent, and upheaval, filled with portents of technological revolution, this tension is unusually enlightening. He masters these coexisting dangers and makes them ambiguous through a dramatic treatment of those relationships. This effort to eliminate a crisis achieves a kind of communal joy, and the beauty of the smooth textures add further interest to Li’s body of work.

©2021 Li Erpeng, Tang Contemporary Art