From the Pursuit of the Length of Life, to the Exploration of the Inner Pursuit of the Splendor of Life - Peng Mingtong, woodcarving and batik artist





Cycling on the winding county road 197 on Chishang , overlooking the endless scenery of rice fields, there is a small shop full of greenery at 4.5 kilometers. Walking inside, it is full of various works of art. This is 4.5 Kilometers Cafe, and it is also the artistic creation studio of Peng Mingtong, a woodcarving and batik artist.











This year (2022), Peng Mingtong returned to his hometown to set up the 4.5 Kilometers Cafe studio. As the first coffee shop on the county road, it has entered its 16th year since it was doubted at the beginning. The former big brother Peng was an athlete, a counselor who graduated from political warfare, and an owner of a clothing company and an artist going international. But after the illness, big brother Peng returned to his hometown of Chishang, rehabilitated and returned to creation.








When returning to Taitung for the first time, Peng Mingtong's batik works mainly focus on the character "回", focusing on the moment of returning home.

"The previous works were more complicated, maybe they were paintings and portraits. After I came back, it might be because of the relationship between the environment and the feeling of this place. At first, I only used single character to create works with the "回" ancient character. Gradually I can see the balance and correspondence in it, one side is thicker and the other side is thinner. " Faced with the fighting in the shopping malls of foreign trade companies, Peng Mingtong began to rethink his health claims. What is life for? In addition to the pursuit of money, I found that the pursuit of the length of life is what we need now. I returned to Taitung Chishang and regained the balance of life.








In addition to creating, Peng Mingtong also runs a coffee shop as a venue for entertaining friends. He said, "Your creation is mainly flat now. When you want to do three-dimensional in the future, you will find that ... you are no capable to do it." Reminded by his friends and mentors, Peng Mingtong stepped into the world of woodcarving seven or eight years ago.








"But what about the next few years? I found that the pursuit of life is not the length of life, but the splendor of life."





As he spoke, Peng Mingtong pointed to the woodcarving work at the back, the work of the bust, with a scoop in the back of the head dug out. The thoughts in the brain symbolize the duality of thinking given in our lives, right and wrong, up and down, good and bad? In fact, there is an opposite state, and in the opposite state, our minds are thinking. Reflect, how do we live with our hearts? "Actually, for a period of time, I have been living with my head and rarely with my heart. I didn't know until I came back here that I realized that I should be living with my heart."







Returning to life in the countryside, observing the changes of the sun and the moon and the changing scenery of the countryside, Peng Mingtong lamented that the aesthetics of the countryside is actually hidden in life. "Actually, the earliest character “回” should be the pattern of Yin-Yang Tai-ji, and then the current “回” derived from it. It is called endless, continuous. Like day and night, four seasons, and farming round after round, each according to the time."





Alternation of day and night, fallen leaves return to their roots to form a life cycle of trees and leaves, which seems to repeat day after day but form different life individuals. "Have you ever seen the same stone? Have you ever seen the same leaf? There are only similarities, not the same." Through daily observation, Peng Mingtong pondered the connection between himself, space and the universe, and explored the fundamentals of human life.





"Actually... each of us is a creator, aren't you always creating your own life? Exploring the inner creation seems to be natural, and there is no need to pursue it. Every life will grow into its own shape."







文/吳紀昀  Author: chi yun wu