In Blueprints, Cao works primarily as an anthropologist of sorts, creating a space where the past and the future are not so easily demarcated.
Cao Fei’s Fantastical Take on China’s Sociopolitical Climate
In Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities, Marco Polo regales Kublai Khan with tales of his travels, musing about the strange poetry of each city and their intersections with memory and selfhood.
A New Hong Kong Museum Exposes China’s Censored Memories (Part 2)
HONG KONG — After the Tiananmen uprising and ensuring crackdown in 1989, the Chinese art world nosedived in a stark and different direction.
Rethinking How We Source Toys
SAN FRANCISCO — With increasing frequency, it seems, toys from China provoke controversy.
The State of Cosplay in China
A look at cosplay, or costumed play, in China and how it is different than elsewhere. Also, how it relates to the work of Chinese artists, like Cao Fei.
Online Social Sculpture: On the Internet, We’re All Artists
One of protean German artist Joseph Beuys’ most famous quotes runs, “Everyone is an artist.” Framed within the artist’s idea of “social sculpture,” a conceptual practice in which our lived world forms a gigantic work of art and individuals become artists in its context, the quote makes sense. The wandering artist spent his time creating sculptures out of society, reshaping thought structures through performances, lectures, and physical objects, working with his fellow human-artists to remake our universe moment to moment. In the present day, I’d rephrase Beuys’ maxim: On the internet, we’re all artists.
One particular online video game, called Minecraft, brings to mind for me the essence of being an artist in the world, presenting a chance for everyone to fulfill Beuys’ definition of Social Sculpture. Where does Social Sculpture meet Social Media?
Does Cao Fei’s “Rabid Dogs” (2002) Age Well?
Everything that matters happens in an office these days. To survive in today’s world, one can’t help but burn with curiosity about why some rise to the top while others gets stuck at the bottom box of the organizational chart. The Office, Mad Men or The Devil Wears Prada all hit this nerve with verve. But what’s been missing for me is that spunkier imagery and wilder narrative that video art can get away with. Cao Fei fills this void in spades with her 2002 video “Rabid Dogs” on view till Sunday at the Asia Society.
Always Social: Social Media Art (2004-2008), Part One
Some time in 2004, I logged onto Facebook for the very first time. My alma mater was one of the few allowed coveted access to the Harvard-originated social network. I filled out a profile, uploaded a picture and began adding friends. A coast away, Tim O’Reilly coined the term “Web 2.0” … Computers and the Internet, after decades of association with nerds and misfits, were on the brink of mainstream cool.