Q&A: Ke Peng


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Just tell people what you want, then let them decide, and if there is one thing you need to know, it is that you don’t always get what you want. (I made this up but I think it works for me.) What will baffle future generations about our day and age? Everyone has terrible eyes and backs, and all these high-res screens. Are you aware of any conspiracies? I think at least 30% of the drivers in LA are uninsured… What is it that interests you about photography? It asks a lot from me, and it puts me in a vulnerable and dilemmatic place. At the same time it allows me to be possessive. What is the worst thing about city life? You are constantly reminded that most people have a 9-5 job, and that’s how a city is able to function. What part of the planet would you like to explore? Tropical islands and deserts, or… very deep in a person’s mind and heart. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? I remembered wanting to be invisible, so I can be at places I am not allowed to be. For the rest of them, I’m glad they still somehow manage to stay within my understanding. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Laozi, he seems like he has all the answers I need. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Psychology, Criminal Psychology, Interrogation and Veterinary.

What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? There are too many of them. One I keep thinking about is when my grandparents are taking a nap with our husky around 3pm everyday. I usually do have a camera but I have never made a picture I like of the scene. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Panda care takers. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. A photograph of my grandma when she was 18 (late 1940s in China), she was a nurse and helping a patient with injection. The picture was quite something. How often do you take other people’s advice? Rarely.. well, maybe sometimes. Describe a personal hell. When I’m sitting on a stable chair (or any stable object) and all of a sudden someone kick it real hard. Which living person do you most admire? My grandma and my father. On what occasion do you lie? When I think I could protect both of us. What was the last crime you witnessed? A car accident. Oh, and I just recently figured out who stole quite a few things from me two years ago. What is the best way to educate yourself? Listen to people who have experienced things. What is the next book you want to read? Too many, there are at least ten of them. I am reading Too Loud A Solitude at this moment. Ultimate camera? Friends been talking about medium format digital backs for a while. Most used camera? Plaubel Makina 670 and Iphone.

What object do you want? Recently I am obsessed with Toyota RAV4, and this plastic chicken toy that walks around and lay eggs. The eggs are transparent and they each have a baby chick in them. My aunt bought it for me from a store in the countryside in Hunan. I’ve always had a hard time relating to objects. I am more interested in people and human experience. I don’t understand how objects work. I don’t have much desire for objects, or at least consumer objects, so I would say objects that remind me of people. What object do you need? Right now, a projector, a longer cable release, a monitor, some more hard-drives… etc. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? “You probably don’t want to know about it.” Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Not at all. I get tired within 6 hours after waking up. Describe a cheap thrill. Knowing that there’s still milk in the fridge. Touching a dog’s pointed ears and curly tail. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. 1987, when the Hong Kong government announced plans to demolish the Kowloon Walled City. Are impulses more important than consequences? No. I wish they were though. This is one thing I have been constantly educated on since I was a child. Which talent would you most like to have? Elegantly fight back when people are being aggressive, judgmental and mean. Skillfully tell a lie. Being able to hide actual emotions and feelings. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Make plans for the next 24 months.

Ke Peng 彭可 (b. 1992, Hunan, raised in Shenzhen, China) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA and southern China. From the collaborative series Leaky Logic and Fugitive Fish – See more @ kepeng.org