Shu Lea Cheang Selected as the 2024 LG Guggenheim Award Recipient

 

 

 

Shu Lea Cheang. Image courtesy Guggenheim Museum

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and LG proudly announce Shu Lea Cheang as the 2024 LG Guggenheim Award recipient. The Net art pioneer, whose interdisciplinary practice spans over thirty years, is the second award recipient to be recognized as part of the LG Guggenheim Art and Technology Initiative, a five-year, multifaceted collaboration designed to research, honor, and promote artists working at the intersection of art and technology. Cheang was selected by an international jury of experts in art and technology and will receive an unrestricted honorarium of $100,000 in celebration of her groundbreaking achievements in this field.

“Shu Lea Cheang was one of the first to recognize the liberatory potential of the digital realm. We celebrate her bold explorations of bodies, and their desires, in our digital and analog worlds, and are thrilled, alongside LG, to recognize her necessary work,” states Naomi Beckwith, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator at the Guggenheim.

“LG is delighted to join the Guggenheim in honoring Shu Lea Cheang with the second LG Guggenheim Award. Looking through her oeuvre, one can observe many of the themes that recently entered today’s technological discourses, such as data, decentralized networks, and gamification, have long been central to her artistic inquiry. LG commends the award jury’s recognition of Shu Lea Cheang’s daring foresight,” states Seol Park, Head of Brand Management at LG Corp.

Cheang (b. 1954, Taiwan) has carved her own path as a visionary. She has engaged emerging technologies (often since their inception) in innumerable forms—including as a theme, tool, and medium—since the 1990s, and developed a remarkable understanding of their complexities, as well as insight into their role in shaping society. Her use of code, gaming engines, software design, and hacking strategies and traditional mediums like installations, film, and performance in her multifaceted projects reflect her unique approach to artmaking and reject neat categorization.

In addition to her pioneering work in Net art, she has had foresight into alternative currencies and decentralized organizations with Garlic=Rich Air (2002–), investigated gamified societies with Bowling Alley (1995), probed biotechnologies in Locker Baby Project (2001–2012) and explored their mutable nature in Mycelium Network Society(2017–).

Her work weaves sensorial experiences with technology and is deeply rooted in her interests in science fiction, queer aesthetics, and community building. Her explorations of social structures in networked societies have advanced understandings of the circulation of information and the ways in which people communicate. She has utilized analog communication tools in Those Fluttering Objects of Desire(1992–93), movement sensors and data management systems in BabyPlay (2001), to develop an alternative technological approach based on shared production. She is also an accomplished filmmaker and has produced and directed four feature-length films: Fresh Kill (1994), I.K.U.(2000), Fluidø (2017), and UKI (2023). Cheang’s installation, Utter (2023), is an example of how she has turned her attention to the societal implications of machine learning in recent years.

“The LG Guggenheim Award revives an honorable tradition of the electronic industry’s support for art and technology. To be recognized by an assembly of diverse jury members grants me tremendous confidence in continuing and expanding my art practice. I thank all my collaborators on every one of my projects,” said Shu Lea Cheang.

A public program in the Peter B. Lewis Theater on May 2 will serve as an opportunity to hear from the artist directly as she discusses her creative practice, as well as new works in development.

Shu Lea Cheang is an American-Taiwanese-French artist and filmmaker. She is celebrated as a Net art pioneer with Brandon (1998–99), the first web art commissioned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Cheang represented Taiwan with 3x3x6, a mixed-media installation at 2019 Venice Biennale: May You Live In Interesting Times. Her feature-length films have been shown at LAS Art Foundation, Berlin; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Institute for Contemporary Art, London; among many other venues. She has exhibited at many experimental and established institutions, including Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona; Tai Kwun, Hong Kong; Museion Bolzano, Italy; Singapore Art Museum; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens; Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; FACT Center, Liverpool. She has participated in international shows such as the Whitney Biennial for American Art (1993, 1995); Johannesburg Biennial (1997); Documenta 14 (2017); Gwangju Biennial (2018); Taipei Biennial (2018); Performa Biennial (2019); and Venice Biennale (2003, 2019, 2024). Her work is in the collections of Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; NTT InterCommunication Center, Tokyo; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; KADIST Foundation; Foundation Museion; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

This year’s jury was comprised of Eungie Joo, Curator and Head of Contemporary Art at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Koyo Kouoh, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art, Cape Town; Noam Segal, LG Electronics Associate Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin; and Stephanie Dinkins, artist, and the inaugural recipient of the LG Guggenheim Award.

Jury Statement

“Shu Lea Cheang’s oeuvre was exceptional among outstanding nominees. Her dynamic works present bursting energy, mesmerizing color palettes, and highly complex, playful, and aesthetically pleasing installations. In those, she renders the porousness between the physical and digital domains, offering empowering amalgamations for audiences to engage with.

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. 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. We are honored to support her groundbreaking practice through this prestigious award.”

The LG Guggenheim Art and Technology Initiative is a five-year, multifaceted collaboration between the Guggenheim and LG designed to research, honor, and promote artists working at the intersection of art and technology. Unique in its areas of concentration and approach, the initiative is an unprecedented investment in technology as an artistic medium. It enables the Guggenheim to broaden its investigations into this innovative field, providing essential support to the visionary artists who inspire new understandings of how technology shapes, and is shaped by, society.

As part of the initiative, Noam Segal joined the Guggenheim in 2023 as LG Electronics Associate Curator. Focusing on research, Segal holds an active role in developing the Guggenheim’s engagement with technology-based art, producing scholarship and public-facing content that will strengthen the goals of the multifaceted initiative across the museum’s departments.

The 2024 LG Guggenheim Award recipient, Shu Lea Cheang, will be celebrated on April 2nd at the 2024 YCC Party sponsored by LG Display. Three additional artists will be recognized through 2027.

LG is a technology innovator and global leader in consumer electronics, chemicals, and automotive components. Founded in 1947, LG was a driving force behind South Korea’s modernization. The company produced South Korea’s first radio and television sets, and today is a global leader in organic light-emitting displays (OLED), electric car batteries, and advanced industrial plastics. The LG group of companies employ over 280,000 people in more than 60 countries that together generate USD 140 billion in annual revenue. LG Corporation (LG Corp.) is the holding company for industry-leading LG subsidiaries, such as LG Electronics, LG Display, LG Energy Solution, LG Chem, to name a few. For more information about the LG group of companies, visit lgcorp.com.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was established in 1937 and is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The international constellation of museums includes the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; and the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. An architectural icon and “temple of spirit” where radical art and architecture meet, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is now among a group of eight Frank Lloyd Wright structures in the United States recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. To learn more about the museum and the Guggenheim’s activities around the world, visit guggenheim.org.

The Guggenheim Museum is located at 1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street, NYC. Did you know that The Guggenheim is Pay-What-You-Wish on Mondays and Saturdays from 4:00 to 5:30pm?