Artist in Focus: Cao Fei
May 8, 2020

Cao Fei (b. 1978, Guangzhou) is one of the most innovative young Chinese artists to have emerged on the international scene. Currently living in Beijing, she mixes social commentary, popular aesthetics, references to Surrealism, and documentary conventions in her films and installations. Her works reflect on the rapid and chaotic changes that are occurring in Chinese society today.

Cao Fei - Prison Architect, 2018 (Trailer)

Cao Fei - Asia One, 2018 (Trailer)

Cao Fei - La Town, 2014 (Trailer)

Cao Fei - Haze and Fog, 2013 (Trailer)

Cao Fei - RMB City: A Second Life City Planning, 2007 (Trailer)

Cao Fei - Whose Utopia, 2006 (Trailer)

Cao Fei - Cosplayers, 2004 (Trailer)


Cao Fei's works have been exhibited at a number of international biennales and triennales, including Shanghai Biennale (2004), Moscow Biennale (2005), Taipei Biennale (2006), the 15th & 17th Biennale of Sydney (2006 and 2010), Istanbul Biennial (2007), Yokohama Triennale (2008), and the 50th, 52nd & 56th Venice Biennale (2003, 2007 and 2015). Exhibitions and screenings of her work have taken place at Serpentine Gallery (2006 and 2008) and Tate Modern in London (2002, 2013 and 2014); New Museum (2009), Guggenheim Museum (2011 and 2018), and MoMA in New York (2016 and 2015); Fondation Louis Vuitton (2016), Palais de Tokyo (2005 and 2017), and Centre Pompidou in Paris (2019, 2014, 2003). In 2016, Cao Fei held her first solo exhibition in MoMA PS1, New York. In 2017, She was the first Chinese artist to participate in the BMW Art Car Project.
Cao Fei's recent projects include the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative at Guggenheim Museum New York (2018), a solo show at Tai Kwun Contemporary in Hong Kong (2018), a retrospective at K21 Düsseldorf (2018) and a solo exhibition at Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019), An Augmented Reality Art Project by APPLE and New Museum, New York (2019). Her most recent project is a solo exhibition at Serpentine Gallery (2020).

She was a nominee for the finalist of Hugo Boss Prize 2010 and the Future Generation Art Prize 2010. She received the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA) Best Young Artist Award in 2006 and Best Artist Award in 2016. She was also the recipient of Piedra de Sal Award at Cuenca Biennale in 2016.
Cao Fei was the Jury of The Selection Committee for the Curatorship of the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014), the Jury of The Bonnefanten Award for Contemporary (2016), and the Jury of Hugo Boss Asia Art Prize (2019), also she was the nominator of the Rolls-Royce Art Programme Muse (2019).

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