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Guide to the Shu Lea Cheang Papers MSS.381


Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Stacey Flatt and Amy C. Vo

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on March 17, 2021
Finding aid written in English with some file titles in Chinese. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Updated by Megan O'Shea to incorporate artwork being sent to offsite art storage in September 2017. Edited by Weatherly Stephan to incorporate processed printed material Edited by Rachel Mahre to reflect digitization and rehousing of film reels  , August 2017 , March 2019 , March 2021

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Cheang, Shu Lea
Source - dnr: Cheang, Shu Lea
Title: Shu Lea Cheang Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1971-2017
Dates [bulk]: 1989-2002
Abstract: Born in Taiwan in 1954, installation artist, filmmaker, and media activist Shu Lea Cheang received a BA in history from National Taiwan University in 1976 and an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University in 1979. She began her career in New York City as a member of the grassroots alternative media collectives Paper Tiger TV (from 1980 to 1990) and Deep Dish TV (from 1984 to 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. In her career as a multimedia artist, her work has transitioned through the years from film and video to digital, to collaborating with web designers, technologists, writers and performance artists creating participatory works that enact cyber activism. The collection spans the years from 1971 to 2017, with the bulk of materials from 1989 to 2002. Although Cheang's collection documents most of her creations, the artworks and films 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.
Quantity: 20 Linear Feet in 4 record cartons, 25 manuscript boxes, 3 media boxes, 2 oversize flat boxes, 1 folder in a shared oversize flat box, 4 cassette boxes, 1 flat box, and 1 flat-file folder.
Quantity: 22.57 Gigabytes in 22,304 computer files.
Quantity: 41 film reels
Quantity: 38 videocassettes (minidv)
Quantity: 3 sound cassettes (dat)
Quantity: 12 audiocassettes
Quantity: 24 videocassettes (hi8)
Quantity: 23 videocassettes (u-matic)
Quantity: 15 videocassettes (vhs)
Quantity: 26 videocassettes (betacamsp)
Quantity: 5 videocassettes (betacam)
Quantity: 1 videocassettes (hdcam)
Quantity: 1 videocassettes (d-2)
Quantity: 1 videoreels (1 inch)
Language: Materials primarily in English. Secondarily, there are newspapers, promotional material, and handwritten notes and letters in Chinese. A small collection of promotional material, exhibition catalogs, a board game, and newsclippings in Czech, German, Dutch, Danish, Spanish, Japanese, and Portugese can also be found in this collection.
Call Phrase: MSS.381