Arts and Culture
Coming from a generation called ‘‘after 70’’, Cao Fei grew up in Guangzhou, city which was relatively open to the West in the 1980s and where the lifestyles turned quickly to consumerism. Graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, she began her career as artist with her video Imbalance 257 (1999), which shows disappointment, boredom and spiritual atrophy of her generation. Later, she produced the video Chain Reaction (2000) giving a schizophrenic view of the life in its individualistic dimension which is immediately appreciated by the Chinese contemporary art collector Uli Sigg. Inspired by Duras, Renais, and Italo Calvino’s universe of fable, Cao Fei examines how the capitalist modes of production have a considerable impact on social relations. Her works often echo a contemporary Chinese society engaged in a chaotic change. Producing neither drama nor criticism, Cao Fei remains calm, sometimes with amusing and poetic mind, she invites spectators to settle between the real world and the virtual world, between reality and science fiction. Her works articulating art and new technology reveal the questions about human relations taken in a new economic and social dimension dominated by the technological globalization. She suggests that the violence of contemporary disruptions to which all humanity is confronted is ubiquitous. By creating a new dialogue between the humans of today and the new technologies, dose Cao Fei’s art mirror a new phenomenon among a younger generation of Chinese artists less concerned today about cultural dialogue between China and the West?