Shu Lea Cheang (1954- ) is an installation artist, filmmaker, and media activist. Born in Taiwan, she graduated with a BA in history from the National Taiwan University in 1976 and later graduated with an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University in 1979. Cheang’s work has encompassed numerous formats and often covers politically charged subjects. In the early 1980s, she became involved with producing public television segments for the collectives Paper Tiger TV and Deep Dish TV. In more recent years she has undertaken “cyber activism,” which involves creating participatory digital art pieces that allow users to engage with social and political themes. One of these projects was Brandon (1998-1999), an exploration of the transphobic hate crime against Brandon Teena, which was the first web-based project sponsored by the Guggenheim Museum and was among the first of its kind in the museum world. Since then she has become a pioneering multimedia artist, creating net-based participatory installations and films critiquing political oppression, militarism, racism, heteronormativity, limits to freedom of expression, and technological and environmental issues.
The Shu Lea Cheang Papers provide documentation of her work from 1989 to 2007. They present both Cheang’s artistic process and products through original video footage, installation objects, photographs, slides, research files, working sketches, press clippings, exhibition postcards and ephemera, and electronic files.
The Shu Lea Cheang Papers are located at the NYU Fales Library & Special Collections. A finding aid for the collection is in process.