Jeffrey Cheung inside his capsule exhibition of queer and trans empowering drawings and banners

Jeffrey Cheung

Jeffrey Cheung is a Bay Area based, Chinese-American artist, who is the co-founder of Unity Press and Unity Skateboard Company.

Cheung’s bright figurative work celebrates queerness within his personal life and within skate culture. He is a prolific maker, whose vivacious art examines freedom, identity, and intersectionality, through bold color and intertwined characters. Cheung’s figures stem from his homoerotic zine making practice and have grown into larger than life paintings. On canvas his playful androgynous characters fearlessly take up space, blend together and playfully unite in non-binary identities. His genderless body positive world questions the boundaries of sexuality, body, gender, and race. Cheung’s simplistic line-work of gender nonspecific bodies offers a clever yet loving response to the heteronormative male gaze creating a more inclusive and accessible entry point.


Interior of Unity studio exhibition in preliminary setup stage

Unity at the Initiative

Centered in the art and social justice practice of Jeffrey Cheung and Unity, Unity at the Initiative is designed to give visibility and community to skaters, queer and/or trans people of color, and Asian Americans while challenging mainstream perceptions of each group. Initially conceived as an exhibition in AAI’s space, skate days in Philadelphia’s parks, and in-person public programs around the city, we have reimagined the project to take into account the physical limitations of Covid-19. At the same time, Covid-19 has created an increased urgency to support Philadelphia’s QTPOC creative community at this particular time as artists and people of color, already pushed to the margins, have been made even more vulnerable as a result of arts and business closures and the rise of anti-Asian sentiment.Major support for Unity at the Initiative has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.