Teiko Ang Zheng

Visual Artist Working with Photography

01.07.2019   - 31.08.2019

With a dual vision regarding the meaning of photography as a media, Teiko Ang Zheng uses the camera to engage with his subjects on a personal level, but also as a critical tool for documenting contemporary societies at large.

Zheng is an MFA student in the Photography Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After growing up on a remote island called Xiamen, China, he moved to the USA.

His college studies concentrated on issues surrounding queer individuality and the image. In his work, he juxtaposes photographic images of people he encounters with fragmented texts to create visual stories that explore the tension between journalism and fiction writing.

When it comes to the further development of his practice he explains:

I am currently interested in two ways of using the camera as I develop my work: one complies with the modernist stream-of-consciousness method as I document my life and surroundings, and through applying texts and curating various subject matters I experiment with constructing memory narrative with photographs; the other incorporates my research in literary form and media studies to examine both the camera and photographic image as a means of production and themselves a post-industrial product in the digital age, and their socio-political impact on individuality, sex, and sexuality.

Teiko Ang Zheng, Artist’s Statement


In 2017, Zheng realized “Syntax of Rendition,” a photography series and artist’s book project in which the artist explores himself and queer cruising in New York City, manually creating, editing and publishing this intimate diary. He is now extending this body of work by exploring Berlin as an Artist in Residence, Summer 2019. He is particularly interested in the relationship between Berlin and its queer citizens. For him, the art house will therefore represent the starting point from which to actually move around the city and plunge into its art scene, as well as into the history of its queer community and other marginalized groups, documenting life and surroundings.

Zheng’s solo exhibition 25 opens Tuesday, August 20th 2019, 6-9pm at SomoS exhibition space.

Teiko Ang Zheng completed his education in Comparative Literature at The Pennsylvania State University and is now enrolled in a MFA at the Photography department of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked as 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.

The artist 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.

Teiko Ang Zheng homepage