Ching-Hsuan (Nina) Peng

Street Crawlers

Artist Statement

Street Crawlers is a group of sculptural figures resembling humanoid dogs, inspired by Patricia Piccinini’s hybrid creatures. Having witnessed cities populated with strays, I sought to replicate the paranoia associated with the increasing epidemic of street animals. The scarecrow head symbolises this fear as well as the alienation of these creatures from the society they live in. I incorporated a hybrid body to explore the similarities, as well as the anatomical differences, between humans and canines, ultimately proving that there is an emotional commonality between the two species.

Artwork Process

The aim was to create an eerie hybrid of human and beast. The body is the human aspect of the piece. White air-dried clay was wrapped over a wire armature. Limbs were moulded by hand and features such as the spine and protruding ribs were enhanced with sculpting tools. Hessian, felt and calico make up the heads. Using wool felting methods, fur was attached to the hessian heads, which were then bound to the body by wrapping the neck with twine. The feet were also bound with fur and thin black thread, as if they were cutting into the flesh.

About the Artist

  • Name: Ching-Hsuan (Nina) Peng
  • School: Mansfield State High School
  • Artwork: Street Crawlers
  • Media: Modelling material, wire, hessian, felt, calico, twine, thread, digital photographs on cotton rag paper

My experiences as a Taiwanese Australian have greatly shaped my art style. In my art, I want to show the audience something that is familiar yet also very foreign. I like to take an obvious topic and mould it into something strange and sometimes uncomfortable. This is also how I would describe my experiences growing up in a bilingual environment. I believe these emotions are felt universally, but in different situations, therefore it is a worthy topic to explore.