Born in Taiwan, installation artist, filmmaker, and media activist Shu Lea Cheang (b.1954-) received a BA in history from National Taiwan University in 1976 and an MA in Cinema Studies from NYU in 1979. She began her career in New York City as a member of the grassroots alternative media collectives Paper Tiger TV (1980-1990) and Deep Dish TV (1984-1990). She has since worked as a multimedia artist, creating internet-based participatory art installations and films critiquing political oppression, militarism, racism, heteronormativity, limits to freedom of expression, and also technological and environmental issues.
The collection spans the years from 1971 to 2017, with the bulk of materials dating from 1989 to 2002. The artworks and films most prominently featured in this collection are Making News Making History: Live from Tiananmen Square (1989-1990); Color Schemes (1989); Those Fluttering Objects of Desire (1992); Fresh Kill (1994); Bowling Alley (1995); Brandon (1998-1999); I.K.U. (2000); and Garlic=Richair (2002). The concept, design, execution, installation, promotion, and exhibition of these pieces are documented through paper and electronic formats, which include correspondence, project proposals, script drafts, notebooks, diagrams and sketches, photographic images, promotional material, reviews, press clippings, and research files. Edits and footage related to Cheang’s films and installations are represented within the audiovisual material in a variety of formats.
To learn more about the contents of the Shu Lea Cheang Papers, located at the Fales Library & Special Collections, view the collection’s finding aid.