Shu Lea Cheang (鄭淑麗) combines the critical and visual traditions of feminist and queer cultures with cutting-edge digital/electronic technologies and computer programs to create performative artworks — both online and offline. Her films, installations, interactive interfaces, and live performances are a meditation on the power of images and fictions to undo normative representations of gender, sexuality, and race.
Born in 1954, Cheang grew up in Taiwan and developed an artistic practice in the US and Europe, putting into dialogue Western and Eastern contemporary approaches to the body, desire, and technology. Her extensive portfolio explores the changing relationship between technology and living bodies in the age of late capitalism and globalization, and how that impacts body politics.
Soon after the World Wide Web was made available for public access in 1990, Cheang, armed with her creativity and imagination, embarked on a journey to expand new media beyond known functions of digital communication, connecting virtual networks with spaces in the real world and initiating a series of creative, performative, and action-based projects.
Her 1998–99 piece "BRANDON" became the first work of "net art" — a movement also known as "net.art" and led by artists who work in the medium of the internet — to be commissioned and collected by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
The internationally recognized internet art pioneer is representing Taiwan at this year's Venice Biennale. Her "3x3x6" project begins with the historical role of the Palazzo delle Prigioni as a prison and integrates imagery, installation, and computing into a reflection on gender frameworks and technological monitoring of the body. More information on the self-professed "digital nomad" is available here.