Artist Talk: JEFF SHENG
September 22, 2011
Photographer Jeff Sheng speaks on his work. Sheng is based in Los Angeles and teaches courses on Asian American Queer Issues and Masculinities at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and will be a visiting lecturer in photography at Harvard University during the Fall of 2011. His artwork is represented by Kaycee Olsen Gallery in Los Angeles. His photography has been published in the New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, and Time Magazine, and he has been profiled by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, CNN, and twice by ABC World News Tonight, most recently in 2010 by Diane Sawyer and Bob Woodruff. In 2011, he was featured as one of the Advocate Magazine’s 40 under 40. Sheng first became known for his photo series, “Fearless,” a photo series about “out” LGBT athletes on high school and college sports teams, that integrated art with social activism, and Sheng frequently exhibits and speaks about his work at various high schools, colleges and corporations. Between 2006-2011, he did over forty solo exhibitions and artist talks at high school and college campuses across the United States. In 2009, he was awarded a grant to exhibit his artwork at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Other exhibition venues have included ESPN Headquarters in 2008, the 2009 International LGBT Human Rights Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Nike World Headquarters in 2010. His most recent photo series, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” featured closeted service members in the United States military affected by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. These images were widely referenced by the national press, media and activist groups during the repeal of the policy, including a solo exhibition of Sheng’s work sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign in Washington DC a few weeks before the final repeal vote was passed by Congress. Sheng holds a BA degree from Harvard University in Visual and Environmental Studies and he received his MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine, in 2007.