Carl Cheng

Carl Cheng (b. 1942, San Francisco, CA) is one of the first Asian-American artists to establish themselves in Southern California in the post war period. His expanded art objects—"nature machines," "specimen viewers," and "art tools"—were made under the auspices of his corporate DBA John Doe Co., and are intended to “model nature, its processes and effects for a future environment that may be completely made by humans.” Cheng's interactive objects—many of which were made in his outdoor "nature laboratory"—use viewer participation and systems art to question corporate responsibility, individual freedom, and the effects on the natural environment of a growing mass-consumer material culture. Throughout five plus decades of practice, Cheng has addressed environmental change, being a member of a generation who watched not only the rapid growth of Los Angeles, but also the rapid growth of Asian cities, where he traveled extensively. 
 
Carl Cheng’s work is currently the subject of an Art + Technology laboratory grant through the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. His work is in or has recently appeared in such exhibitions as “Specters of Disruption” (2018, De Young Museum, San Francisco, CA); “3D: Double Vision” (2018, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, (Los Angeles, CA); “Emerald City” (2018, K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong; and “Soil Erosion” (2017, curated by Shannon Ebner, Altman Siegel, San Francisco, CA). His work was featured in “The Photographic Object 1970” (2014, Hauser and Wirth, New York, NY); “The Photographic Object 1970” (2013, Le Consortium, Dijon, France); “Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981” (2013, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA); “Proof: Los Angeles Art and the Photography 1960- 1980” (1992, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA); “Photography into Sculpture” (1970, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY); and “Vision and Expression” (1969, George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY). Solo exhibitions included LIST Visual Arts Center (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Boston, MA); Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (Santa Barbara, CA); and ASG Foundation Gallery (Nagoya, Japan). Cheng lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.