Cao Fei is concerned with the fate of individuals facing the radical changes sweeping the contemporary world, and she is particularly sensitive to the impact of China’s accelerated transition toward a market economy. In 2006, she went to a light-bulb factory for a six-month artistic collaboration with the employees, who, due to the extreme rationalization of production, were living under conditions leading to the eradication of their dreams. The video Whose Utopia (2006) is the result of this collaboration, which sought to revive the workers’ contact with their aspirations and their creative power. Although they are physically distant, their reality nevertheless reflects the inner conflict experienced by most individuals subjected to the productivity logic of the industrialized world.
With the support of E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation
Born in Guangzhou, China, Cao Fei lives and works in Beijing. Her videos, her photographs, and her digital works associate popular culture with the idea of utopia in order to portray the transitions of contemporary China. She has had a meteoric rise on the international art scene and her work has recently been seen, among other venues, at the Serpentine Gallery in London (2009), the New Museum in New York (2009), and the São Paulo Biennale (2010). Cao received the Chinese Contemporary Art Award in 2006 and was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize awarded by the Guggenheim Museum in 2010. She is represented by Vitamin Creative Space in Guangzhou and by Lombard-Freid Projects in New York.