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Watch Party: Lesbian Shorts by Shu Lea Cheang

October 14, 2020 @ 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Free – £8
A black and white headshot of Shu Lea Cheang, a Taiwanese-American woman with short bleach blond hair, standing in a darkened corridor with bright overhead lights.

Shu Lea Cheang’s work from the early-to-mid 1990s demonstrated an exciting fusion of identity politics and erotic exploration, making her one of the period’s most prominent queer media artists.

This collection presents two of her solo works and two collaborations, alongside a Q&A with Cheang hosted by scholar and critic B. Ruby Rich.

Part of our Shu Lea Cheang Retrospective, Cruising the Future. Cheang is a multi-media artist working in experimental video and net art since the early 1980s. Her work deals with the techno body, queer erotics and politics, race relations, and governmental and institutional power. Click here to access Cheang’s 2000 feature film I.K.U. on our Vimeo on Demand. Click here to access Fluidø  (2017).

Tickets are on a sliding scale of FREE, £2, £4, £6, or £8. To book, click the button below. We will send out a Zoom link for the event to ticket holders on the day.

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This screening has an age recommendation of N/C 18+.

The films have Japanese and English audio with English language captions. BSL interpretation and live captioning provided for introduction and Q&A.

Content notes: discussion of cancer, death, and sex; depiction of nudity and sex.

We have a limited access fund to assist people with no or limited internet access to attend the Festival. If you would like to take this up, please contact info@sqiff.org.

If you have any questions about accessibility at SQIFF 2020, please contact info@sqiff.org.



Sex Fish (6m)
Dir: Shu Lea Cheang, Country: USA, Year: 1993, Language/s: English
An erotic lesbian video involving swimming upstream, female power, and fish love. Made as a collaboration under the name E.T. (Ela Troyano) Baby (Jane Castle) Maniac (Cheang).

“In Sex Fish water provides the common denominator for nature imagery and explicit sex. Unlike 1970s feminist imagery, however, nature is sexualized rather than sex naturalized. Dripping from the faucet, spraying against a shower curtain, swirling down a toilet, water leads viewers from one sex scene to another, private to public and back again. Swimming through the video are various fish, seemingly unaware of the derogatory pun they enact, and all gulping enviously as cunnilingus surrounds them.”

—Chris Straayer, Deviant Eyes, Deviant Bodies: Sexual Re-orientations in Film and Video (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996)

Sex Bowl (8m)
Dir: Shu Lea Cheang, Country: USA, Year: 1994, Language/s: English
All forms of human sport become sites for sexual play and celebratory eroticism.

“The tape’s images are quick, suggestive, and sexy: fingers moving into bowling balls, shoe-smelling and toe-sucking, a dog wearing chain jewelry, fish being wrapped at the market, young naked couples having sex…. Edited like a music video, the image track is a constant flow of fetishes that lure us into the promiscuous pace of girls who keep lists of their sexual encounters.”

—Chris Straayer, Deviant Eyes, Deviant Bodies: Sexual Re-orientations in Film and Video (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996)

Fingers and Kisses (5m)
Dir: Shu Lea Cheang, Country: Japan, Year: 1995, Language/s: Japanese, English
Cheang has taken her camera to the streets for a candid glimpse of lesbian public sexuality. If Asian women and lesbians share a certain amount of invisibility in the culture, Fingers and Kisses offers not only a bold representation of both, but a challenge to the question “What do lesbians do?” Tokyo’s own out-and-loud music by Chu punctuates the narrative as what begins in the streets continues under the sheets.

Coming Home (5m)
Dir: Shu Lea Cheang, Country: USA, Year: 1995, Language/s: Japanese, English
This humorous video begins with two women—one white, the other Asian—attempting to fit into a Japanese bathtub. The awkward fitting of bodies into a small space is just one of the allegorical scenarios dramatized in a pressing appeal for lesbian rights. In a game of hanafuda (flower cards), the terms of lesbian domesticity are cleverly played out according to such legalities as joint property, social security, and pensions.


October 14, 2020
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Free – £8
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