Peng Chen


Peng studied fine arts at school in China before coming to New Zealand for tertiary study. His initial intention when he started at Whitecliffe was to pursue Graphic Design, but after being introduced to photography electives in his first year, he realised “how much I liked it and how well photography and moving image enabled me to communicate my ideas.”

That decision to choose Photo Media has led him to success in the prestigious Eden Arts Art Schools Awards, receiving one of the three highly-commended awards in the Auckland Arts Schools 2017 competition.

Peng works in still photography as well as in moving image combined with performance art, and because his cultural heritage is important he says “my current focus when communicating with my audience is to combine my Chinese culture with contemporary art practices.”

Of his time at Whitecliffe, Peng feels that “as well as technical photographic skills, learning how to research has enabled my ideas to evolve. In China, the teaching is about one way, but at Whitecliffe the process is important. The lecturers helped me to think.

I now know how to express myself and that there are different ways to look at an original idea. By understanding how my work will look and be received by an audience means that I am now a more effective photographer and artist.”

“Being at an art school with other creative students means that there is collaboration, discussion and feedback – all of which makes a big difference to the work that I am making and to my future career.”

Peng Chen