Chinese artist Cao Fei (*1978) is regarded as a pioneer of a generation of artists, for whose members digital media and network technology are simply aspects of everyday life. This Beijing-based artist elaborates her multifaceted artistic oeuvre through an imperative confrontation with the latest medial innovations. The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen presents the first major solo exhibition in Germany of Cao Fei's works. This survey, on view until 13 January 2019 at the K21, will encompass her artistic production between 1995 and 2017 and includes videos, photographs, and multimedia installations, as well as drawings which have not been shown publicly previously.
Cao Fei, Haze and Fog, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Vitamin Creative Space. Photo: © Cao Fei. © Kunstsammlung NRW
Cao Fei's works reflect extensively upon the societal and urban situation of contemporary China, characterized by processes of massive transformation. Working along the boundary between fiction and reality, she draws inspiration also from her immediate milieu. Her projects – which exploit a film and television aesthetic that has been disseminated globally – are readily and widely accessible. The local phenomena observed by Cao Fei generate an awareness of the kind of situations that are occurring in our urbanized global environment. Many of her works pose questions such as: How do we experience our own lives? What are our expectations of the future? In which direction is the society – and with it our megacities – developing today?
Cao Fei, My Future Is Not A Dream 03, 2006. Courtesy of the artist and Vitamin Creative Space. Photo: © Cao Fei. © Kunstsammlung NRW
The major film 'Haze and Fog' (2013) will be screened in the exhibition. Shot in the artist's block of flats, the film uses artificial lighting to convey the inner emptiness of the people who live here and their alienation from the city. In the documentary installation "Nation. Father" (2005-2008), Cao Fei offers insights that are both personal as well as political. For each project, Cao Fei invents a new and compelling visual idiom. The media deployed by this artist consistently belong to the technological avant-garde. With works like 'RMB City' (2007-2011), created using the virtual-reality platform Second Life, she functions as a chronicler of the evolving influence of digital resources.
Cao Fei at K21 Ständehaus has been curated by Klaus Biesenbach for MoMA PS1, New York, and is in cooperation with the JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION, Düsseldorf/Berlin.
Shen Xin, Warm Spell, 2018. Courtesy of the artist, as part of 'NEW METALLURGISTS'.
Simultaneously, JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION presents the exhibition NEW METALLURGISTS, curated by Cao Fei and Yang Beichen. This will be on show until 28 April 2018. This exhibition focuses on a new and young generation of contemporary Chinese artists. Based on the concept of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, defining "metallurgy" as a paradigmatic example of a nomadic art, the artistic contributions highlight the increasing complexity and hybridity of modern Chinese society. The show features works by Fang Di, Liu Yujia, Shen Xin, Song Ta, Wang Tuo, Yao Qingmei, Zheng Yuan, Zhu Payne.
For more information on Cao Fei at K21 Ständehaus, click here.
For more information on NEW METALLURGISTS at the JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION, click here.
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