”Canine Monk“ is a series of 10 videos. It usually has been showed individually, some of them as a group or a whole set constructing a huge Crucifix by 11 42" LCD monitors.
In the series of works entitled “Canine Monk”, Peng’s dog literally steps in his artist-owner’s place as creative subject. In the videos, the dog writes texts from central religious scriptures on the wall. The artist first painted the words in oil and then covered them with dog food. When the common video feature of rewind was used, the role of the dog changes from instinctive creature to creative agent, thereby thematizing another “rewind;” dog is god in reverse. At once innocent creature, inferior species as well as trusted companion, the dog holds an ambivalent position as mediator of often sacred texts. While the artist William Wegman often dresses up his dogs and positions them in anthropomorphic scenarios, Peng’s four-legged companion is elevated to performing subject, thereby displacing its human counterpart. The dog intervenes between reader and text, thus defamiliarizing what are often familiar passages. The piece therefore raises questions that are not normally pondered: who is the writing subject of these writings and to whom are they addressed? When articulated via the mouth of the dog, the words, strangely, seem all the more human.
This series is dedicated to my beloved dog "Yukie".