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Cao Fei

Cao Fei was born 1978 in Guangzhou, China. She graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2001 and has since become known for her multimedia installations and videos. Cao Fei is acknowledged as one of the key artists of a new generation emerging from mainland China. She lives and works in Beijing. Her work has been shown at the Biennale di Venezia (2003, 2007), the Shanghai Biennale (2004), the Istanbul Biennial (2007) and the Biennale de Lyon (2007). Her recent project RMB City (2008–) has been exhibited at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2010). Cao Fei won the 2006 Best Young Artist Award by CCAA (Chinese Contemporary Art Award) and is a finalist of the Hugo Boss Prize 2010.

The matrix of Cao Fei’s work is found in Second Life, a digital reality where users/players create their virtual alter egos. Fei has built her own world on that and called it RMB City, a metropolis in constant construction, based on a contemporary Chinese city. Cao’s world reflects on ideology and the volatile social structures of a rapidly changing China. She investigates reality (as a social situation), which is no longer found in the real (the physical world), but in its virtual counterpart. RMB City is a manifesto of the challenges of a new generation, both in a communal and artistic sense. Cao has made a platform for creative exchange and discovery, inviting the art community to play an active part in the development and interpretation of online art and culture.

Cao Fei creates a special multilayered installation for PAC, bringing all different dimensions of her work together for the first time. It presents a real physical space with video documentation, sculpture, lights, furniture and everyday objects, to let the audience experience their connection to an online existence.