Chinese Photographer Teiko Zheng (US) Explores Queer Berlin Migration

Photography Solo Exhibition

21.08.2019 2pm  - 24.08.2019 7pm

Press Release: photography, documentary, Berlin, writing, queer migration

Chicago-Based Chinese Photographer Teiko Zheng Explores Queer Berlin Migration

Exhibition of photography and writing by Teiko Zheng
Exhibition title: 25

Opening: Tuesday, August 20, 6-9pm
Duration – August 21-24, Tuesday-Saturday 2-7 and by appointment

SomoS Art House – Kottbusser Damm 95, 1.0G, 10967, Berlin
(U8 – Schönleinstraße)

Artist: Teiko Zheng (CH/USA)

BERLIN—July 30, 2019

SomoS is proud to present the solo photography exhibition “25” by Chicago-based Chinese artist Teiko Ang Zheng. The intimate show comprises the outcome of Zheng’s two-month residency at SomoS as he focused on visual and written storytelling, subjectively documenting queer inhabitants of Berlin that he met on dating apps and beyond, as well as directing his gaze at the city itself. Referred to by the artist as “encounters,” his many exchanges have led to an honest generational narrative of life in Berlin, a city with a liberal aura that attracts queer migration.

25 reflects on what it means to be young, queer and a migrant in Berlin. As a number, it stands for not only the age of Zheng, but also for an age when many feel prepared enough to leave their city in search of something else. Zheng’s encounters began from queer dating apps whose algorithms directed him towards people around his age. With this personal implication in mind, Zheng also turned the spotlight on himself within the story of queer migration to Berlin.

Inspired by Christopher Isherwood’s novel “The Berlin Stories,” which was developed from real experiences of the author in the 1930s, Zheng was impacted by the ability of a story to create a life of its own which is distinct from its written form. For Zheng, in fact, the camera may not only enable one to develop a personal narrative from photographs, it also is always linked to broader society, especially in the digital age.

While seemingly just a number, 25 reveals itself as an embodiment of the personal, global and independent qualities of visual and written storytelling through a queer and digitalized lens in Berlin. Through this fluid narrative combining photography and text, therefore, Zheng’s 25 extends the idea of a solo exhibition towards a site for attentive and reflective storytelling.

About Teiko Ang Zheng

Teiko Ang Zheng completed his education in Comparative Literature at The Pennsylvania State University and is now enrolled in an MFA at the Photography department of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked as a teaching assistant for numerous courses in the Photography department since his enrollment. His interest for research lies in the theory/criticism of art and literature, (post-) modernism/structuralism, queer theory/art/literature and East Asian (diasporic) art/literature, and media theory and theory and history of photography.

Zheng took part in group exhibitions including the Open Studio Show, Sullivan Center, Chicago IL, USA, Pick Me Up, 062 Gallery, Chicago IL, USA, and Portrait, Through the Lens, Black Box Gallery, Portland OR, USA. His work can be found in the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL, USA; Joan Flasch Artist’s Book Collection, SAIC, Chicago IL, USA; Chicago Artists’ Archive, Chicago IL, USA.

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Printable files available on request.

About SomoS

SomoS Art House provides space and resources for the production, presentation, and reflection of the arts. SomoS’ ever-expanding Artist-in-Residency program and ambitious exhibitions and event schedule allows for unique opportunities with artists, organisers, and curators to realize an array of artistic endeavors. Selected by Artslant Magazine as one of Berlin’s most interesting art project organizations, SomoS’ mission is to create an international open framework for innovative arts, exhibitions, education and creative cooperation.


Kottbusser Damm 95
10967 Berlin

Paulus Fugers

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