b. 1962 in Hualien, Taiwan


Peng Kanglong is as a literati-recluse artist who paints in the traditional landscape and flower genres. Having graduated from the Taipei National University of the Arts in 1988 with a focus in Chinese brush and ink painting, his major stylistic influences include the 17th century Monk artists Shitao (1642–1707) and Kuncan (1612 to after 1674), as well as the Modern landscape master Huang Binghong (1865–1955). Landscape and flower painting are two distinct genres with their own metaphoric languages, painting techniques, representative masters and developmental histories. With the possible exception of Huang Binhong, Peng Kanglong is perhaps the first ink artist to explore the artistic possibilities of integrating these formerly separate genres. Whereas Huang Binghong's artistic breakthrough employs the brushwork of flower painting to transform landscape painting, Peng Kanglong works in the reverse direction employing the fine texture strokes and expansive compositional depth of landscape painting to render his extraordinary flowers.


Brushwork, light, compositional space and liubai are critical to understanding Peng Kanglong's break through. In rendering his flowers, Peng integrates the cunfa or "fine texture strokes" of landscape painting with established shuanggou "outline-and-fill" and mogu "boneless" methods of traditional flower painting. Like landscape texture strokes, Peng's flower texture strokes are based on calligraphy but instead of running or regular script strokes, he employs caoshu or "cursive" and specifically kuangcao or "wild cursive" strokes to render his flower forms. These wild cursive texture strokes are not employed in a daxieyi or "boldly calligraphic" expression but rather in a dense and refined, virtuosic performance— brimming with energy but at the most minute and intimate scale.


Peng employs his wild cursive texture strokes to render not only the forms of his trees, flowers and grasses but also the light and space in which his subjects live and breath. Normally in the flower painting, this space is left "untouched" or "empty"—liubai and kongbai in classical parlance—but here, Peng fills this empty space with his dense, energetic brushwork. Paradoxically, his paintings still breathe, not with the emptiness of untouched paper but rather with the translucent, luminescent light of his dilute color-and-ink tones. To appreciate Peng's virtuosic brushwork, one must get very close to his works and immerse oneself in the intensity, spontaneity, discipline and utter freedom of his color, ink and line.


Peng Kang-long's works have been recently exhibited in "Feast of Verdure", The Historical Grand Courtyard, Taipei (2021), "Mukuteki", The Museum of Kyoto, Japan (2019), "Different Paths: Exploration in Ink", Sothebys S|2, Hong Kong (2017), and "Shuimo: Ten Thousand Blossoms Spring", Sotheby's S|2, New York (2015) amongst others. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, the Taipei Fine Art Museum, the Fubon Cultural & Educational Foundation, and the Abu Dhabi Royal Family Collection, and the Fondation INK Collection in Geneva, Switzerland.