Art Basel Hong Kong finally back to pre-pandemic size—what’s changed since 2019?
March 3, 2024
New dawn: the birth of Impressionism revisited 150 years later for Paris exhibition
March 3, 2024
Art Basel Hong Kong finally back to pre-pandemic size—what’s changed since 2019?
March 3, 2024
New dawn: the birth of Impressionism revisited 150 years later for Paris exhibition
March 3, 2024

The Taiwan-born multidisciplinary artist, technologist and Net art pioneer Shu Lea Cheang has won the LG Guggenheim Award, the second iteration of the prize, which comes with a $100,000 unrestricted purse. The award is part of The Guggenheim Museum and the South Korean company LG’s five-year partnership to support artists working with technology.

For more than three decades, Cheang has been engaging with the latest technologies, from biotechnology and alternative currencies to motion censors, gaming engines and machine learning. She has also made four feature-length films, including 2023’s UKI. She is no stranger to the Guggenheim, which in the late 1990s gave her its first web art commission. The resulting work, Brandon (1998-99), explores the fusion of human and technological bodies and shifting perceptions of gender.

Shu Lea Cheang, still from UKI, 2023

Across her wide-ranging oeuvre, the American Taiwanese French artist has engaged with technology through the lenses of science fiction, queer identity and aesthetics, communications systems, sensory interfaces and more. Since 2002, her project Garlic=Rich Air has envisioned a future society in which garlic is the main currency. She has probed the risks and opportunities afforded by developments in biotechnology with works like Locker Baby Project (2001-12) and Mycelium Network Society (2017-ongoing). In 2019, she represented Taiwan at the Venice Biennale with the mixed-media installation 3x3x6, which tells the stories of sexual non-conformists who have been failed (the work was censored from an exhibition in Hong Kong last year).

“Shu Lea Cheang was one of the first to recognise the liberatory potential of the digital realm,” Naomi Beckwith, the Guggenheim’s deputy director and chief curator, said in a statement. “We celebrate her bold explorations of bodies, and their desires, in our digital and analog worlds.”

Shu Lea Cheang, still from Fluidø, 2017. Digital colour video with sound, 80 min.

The jury for this year’s LG Guggenheim Award included its first recipient, the artist Stephanie Dinkins; Noam Segal, the LG Electronics Associate Curator at the Guggenheim; SFMoMA’s curator and head of contemporary art Eungie Joo; Koyo Kouoh, the executive director and chief curator of Zeitz Mocaa; and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea.

“Drawing inspiration from science-fiction literature and film as well as gaming, Cheang’s projects and experimentations in the fields of art and technology present a fascinating overview of advanced technologies,” the jury members said in a joint statement. “She continuously offers new understandings of technological changes and their effects on our societies, and her expansive output is, and will remain, highly influential for generations.”

Cheang will discuss her work in a public event at the Guggenheim’s theatre in New York on 2 May.

First appeared on…

Comments are closed.