Shu Lea Cheang

born 1954 Taiwan

digital drifter

Shu Lea Cheang, the director of "I.K.U." which created a sensation 
at many international film festivals all over the world, was born in 
Taiwan and acquired United States nationality. Now she is rushing 
from city to city all over the world carrying a PowerBook as a media 
artist and a movie director. 

She does not have a permanent address. The only way of making 
contact with her is through her email address on the Internet. She 
is, so to speak, a digital nomad.

She has visited and stayed in Tokyo repeatedly while she was working 
at NTT/ICC in Nishi-Shinjuku for the net installation and other 
works as an artist. She toured many clubs in Tokyo and found a 
freaky staff for this movie.

Although "I.K.U." is set in Tokyo in the near future, she did not 
use the familiar scenery like the televisions on the walls in 
Shibuya. Her point of view as an outsider who had experienced life 
in Tokyo shut the familiar scenery out. 

Her perseverance in showing many amazing visual ideas to the staff 
made them admire her. In fact, she requested some of the youngest 
members of the staff to create an amazing CG scene in which a pussy 
rushes into a penis, and spent half a year to complete it.

She said that her sexuality has been confirmed in New York. Also she
said that she found the element of net surfing resembles the
structure of the American pornography which is just repeating sex
scenes in many different situations. Noticing this, she created the
images using effects as a cyber artist to complete "I.K.U.".

Some of Shu Lea Cheang's net installation works are now at the 
Guggenheim Museum("Brandon", 1998-1999) in New York, NTT/ICC ("Buy 
One Get One", 1997) in Tokyo, and at Walker Art Center ("Bowling 
Alley", 1995) in Minneapolis as part of the permanent collections.

Exhibitions in the galleries have been held at Ohta Fine Arts in 
Tokyo and The Project in New York. She also joined a biennial 
exhibition 2000 at the Museum of Modern Arts in Taiwan, and worked 
at Site Comtemporary Center in Paris. Next July she will hold a net 
installation called "Baby Play" at NTT/ICC in Tokyo.

Her first movie for the theater called "Fresh Kill" is an ecological 
cyber movie, so to speak, which is set in New York in the near 
future. It appeared on screen at Berlin International Film Festival 
as a Premier.

After "I.K.U.", Shu Lea Cheang is preparing her next movie "FLUID", 
another SF pornography, at Sextropa, that is a new section of 
Zentropa, a film production that director Lars Von Torier manages.


1979 New York University, M.A. in Cinema Studies
1976 National Taiwan University, B.A. in History


Zone of Urgency, curated by Hou Hanru, 50th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Hardcore, curated by Jerome Sans, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
Burn, FACT, Liverpool, England
LOVE, Magazin 4 (Vorarlberger Kunstverein), Bregenz, Austria 

The Field Project, New York, NY
Metropolis, Art Chicago 2002, Chicago, IL
Body Ploy, symposium at AIM II: Luna Park Project and the Museum of 
Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles
Shrink to fit, Museum of Communication, Bern
Stop, Amnesty International online digital art exhibition, The Amory 
Show 2002, New York, NY
Kingdom of Piracy, ArtFuture2002, Acer Digital Art Center,Taiwan

Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo, Seville, Spain
Scifi Digi Porn, Julia Friedman Gallery, Chicago (solo exhibition)
Baby Play, InterCommunication Center (ICC), Tokyo (solo exhibition)
I.K.U. Stripped, Women Art Network, Tokyo
I.K.U., Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (screening)
Body as Byte, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland

Taipei Biennale, Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taiwan 
Fluid, The Project, New York (solo exhibition)
Carry On, Media Arts & Research Studies (MARS), Institute for Media 
Communication, Bonn, Germany
I.K.U., Premiere, Sundance Film Festival
I.K.U., ICA, London, England
Dystopia and Identity in the Age of Global Communications, Tribes 
Gallery, New York, NY
Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo, Japan 

Brandon, Guggenheim Museum, New York, co-production with Banff 
Center for the Arts, Canada, DeWaag, Society for Old and New Media, Amsterdam

Buy One Get One, ICC Biennale, Tokyo, Japan (award, catalogue)

Elephant Cage Butterfly Locker, Atopic Site exhibition, Tokyo

Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Bowling Alley, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis 

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (solo exhibition)
Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (solo exhibition)
Fresh Kill, Berlin International Film Festival

To Enter, The Final Frontier Exhibition, The New Museum of 
Contemporary Art, New York, NY
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

The Museum of Modern Art (solo exhibition)
Those Fluttering Objects of Desire, Exit Art, New York (solo 

The Airwaves Project, CAPP Street Project, San Francisco, California

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (solo exhibition)
Making News/Making History, The Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston 
International Center For Photography, New York (solo exhibition)
The Feminist "I", The Brooklyn Museum, New York

A producing member of media collectives, Paper Tiger TV & Deep Dish TV


Asai, Takashi. "Fingers and Kisses." Dice, Japan, 1995.
Bailey, Andy. "Tokyo Porn." The Face, Vol 3, number 46, November 2000.
Carr, C. "In Carr, On Edge: Performance at the End of the Twentieth 
Century." Hanover, New Hamshire: Wesleyan University Press, pgs. 206-11, 1993. 
Chua, Lawrence and Hagedorn, Jessica. "A Dialogue on Fresh Kill." 
Bomb, New York, 1994.
Chua, Lawrence, "An Odd Circuit," Art Asia Pacific, Fall edition 2000.
Furlong, Lucinda. "Shu Lea Cheang." The New American Film and Video 
Series. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1990.
Furlong, Lucinda. "Gender Bending, Works of Shu Lea Cheang." College Press, 1996.
Grundberg, Andy. "Making News/Making History: Live From Tiananmen 
Square." The New York Times, June 22, 1990.
Hanhardt, John. "Media Art Worlds: New Expressions in Film and 
Video," 1991-93, 1993 Biennial Exhibition. New York : Whitney Museum 
of American Art : Harry N. Abrams, 1993. pgs. 36-5. 
Highs, Kathy and Cheang, Shu Lea, eds. "Shot/Reverse Shot, A Cross 
Circuit Videologue." Felix, New York, 1992.
Howell, John, ed. "Breakthroughs, Avant Garde Artists in Europe and 
America," 1950-1990, Wexner Center for the Arts, New York: Rizzoli, 1991.
Kotz, Liz. "Shu Lea Cheang at Exit Art." Art In America, Vol 81, 
January 1993, p.106. 
Kroker, Arthur and Marilouise, "Web Delirium, The Okinawa Project." 
Digital Delerium. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997.
Nakamoto, Akio. "Shu Lea Cheang." Wired Japan, 1995.
Ralli, Tania and Mc Neil, Brett. "Porn Free." Chicago Journal. July 19, 2001.
Stamets, Bill. "Now Playing: Visions of a cyber-Satyricon." Chicago 
Reader, July 13, 2001, Vol 30.
"Whitney Biennal." Art Forum, April, 1993.
"Hot List." Rolling Stone, August 30, 2001, pg. 76.


The Rockefeller Foundation, Moving Image Installation and 
Interactive Media Fellowship
AT&T, New Vioce/ New Visions
National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Arts Fellowship 
Asian Cultural Council Fellowship
Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, Italy
The Mondrian Foundation, Ministry for Cultural Affairs, Holland
The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Artist in Residency, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst
Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, Harvard University
New York Foundation for the Arts, Computer Art Fellowship
Innovative Filmmaker of Outstanding Achievement, Mix Festival, New York
New York State Council on the Arts
Lyn Blumenthal Memorial Fund for Independent Media Award 

Shu Lea Cheang at Art and Culture Network

Shu Lea Cheang at City of Women

Shu Lea Cheang at Exitart

Shu Lea Cheang at Offline Artist Information

Shu Lea Cheang email exchange with Geert Lovink

Shu Lea Cheang at Telepolis

Shu Lea Cheang at the Julia Friedman Gallery

Shu Lea Cheang at USC

Shu Lea Cheang at Art Institute of Chicago

Shu Lea Cheang at the 50th Venice Biennial 2003

more Shu Lea Cheang at the 50th Venice Biennial 2003

Shu Lea Cheang at Virtual Exhibitors

Shu Lea Cheang at Whitney Artport

Shu Lea Cheang at Women Make Movies

Shu Lea Cheang's Burn

Shu Lea Cheang's

Shu Lea Cheang's I.K.U.

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