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Shu Lea Cheang to represent Taiwan at Venice Biennale 2019

By Yali Chen
 
Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) announced that artist Shu Lea Cheang will represent Taiwan at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019. The Taiwanese artist will be the first woman to represent Taiwan in Venice, with a solo presentation curated by Spanish philosopher Paul B. Preciado.
 
Cheang’s presentation, titled 3x3x6 (in reference to the new architectural model of industrial prisons: a nine meter cell monitored by six cameras), takes the form of a new multimedia research project including images, installations, and computer programming. This project combines the past and present, plus the real and virtual worlds.

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Photo from TFAM
Left to right, Taipei Fine Arts Museum Director Lin Ping, Taiwan’s artist Shu Lea Cheang, and Spanish philosopher Paul B. Preciado announce that Cheang’s work, titled 3x3x6, will represent Taiwan at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019.

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Photo from TFAM
Taiwan’s multimedia artist Shu Lea Cheang has worked in the fields of net-based installation, social interface, and film production.

Born in 1954, Cheang grew up in Taiwan, developing her art career in the U.S. and Europe. Internationally recognized as an Internet art pioneer, Cheang combines the critical and visual traditions coming from feminist and queer cultures with cutting-edge digital technologies and computer programs to create her performative artworks online and offline.
 
“Over the past three decades, my creations have always focused on the undoing of normative representations of gender, sexuality, and race,” Cheang said.

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Photo from TFAM
Paul B. Preciado, born in Spain, is a contemporary writer, philosopher and curator whose works focus on applied and theoretical topics relating to identity, gender, pornography, architecture, and sexuality.

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Photo from TFAM
Left to right, Taiwan’s multimedia artist Shu Lea Cheang introduces her team members
Yang Po-hsien and Tsai Hong-hsien for the Taiwan Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019.

 
She also said that her piece, titled 3x3x6, had been inspired by the exhibition venue, Palazzo delle Prigioni – a Venetian government prison in the 16th century. Her work tries to highlight transgender issues by exploring crime and punishment, modern imprisonment and surveillance devices, as well as 10 historical figures (including Giacomo Casanova, Michel Foucault, and Marquis de Sade) imprisoned due to their sexual orientation and nonconformity.
 
“Cheang forces visitors to interrogate the distance between punishment and pleasure, between surveillance and lust,” said Preciado, who serves as the curator of Taiwan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019.

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Photo from TFAM
Shu Lea Cheang’s presentation, titled 3x3x6, will represent Taiwan at the
58th Venice Biennale in 2019.

 
“Her work 3x3x6 explores the relationship between political punishment and sexual enjoyment, between modes of seeing and processes of subject production. Inverting the watchful eyes of our panoptic society to partake in an empowering collective vision, the exhibition aims to reinvent desire and pleasure beyond hegemonic norms.”
 
The 58th Venice Biennale is to take place from May 11 through November 24 next year.