While Sa Peng works in mediums that range from woodblock prints to sculpture, she says that oil painting is the “primary language” she uses in her work. In her images, the soft, rich colors that oils provide are used in a surprisingly powerful way. Creating strikingly textured abstract works as well as intimate portraits of people, the artist is skilled at balancing those soft tones with bursts of bright color or sharply rendered effects of light and shadow, leading the viewer’s eye through the image and giving each scene or human subject a strong sense of life.
That feeling of life is further enhanced by Peng’s eye for line and composition. Each painting has a firmly grounded sense of space and proportion, bringing the viewer into the artist’s world. Expressing that world is central to her process. “I draw on my personal memories, emotions and experiences,” she says, “treating them as residents in my imaginary world and allowing them to develop organically on their own.” That complex interaction between artist and subject gives her paintings their unique, dynamic quality.
Born in 1993 in mainland China, Sa Peng moved to Vancouver, Canada when she was 14 years old. She came to New York alone in 2012, where she currently lives and works.