Cao Fei: Haze and Fog


Thursday, October 23, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

Cao Fei in person

In her videos and multiplatform installations, Chinese artist Cao Fei mixes fantasy, documentary, and virtual reality to reflect on the ways China's rapidly changing economy has transformed the everyday lives and imaginations of its citizens. Her latest film, Haze and Fog (2013) is a darkly humorous reinterpretation of the zombie film set in Beijing. Here the undead are real estate agents, nouveau riche businessmen, security guards, and manicurists seeking contact in an increasingly individualized, materialistic, and alienating society. Cao accompanies the film with her haunting 2007 short i.Mirror, recorded entirely in the virtual world of Second Life, and a discussion of her practice to date.

2007–13, China, multiple formats, ca 80 min + discussion
In Mandarin with English subtitles

Cao Fei (b. 1978, Guangzhou, China) is acknowledged as one of the key artists of a new generation emerging from Mainland China. 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. Her work has exhibited all over the world, including the Venice Biennale; Shanghai Biennale; Yokohama Triennale; Istanbul Biennale; Guggenheim Museum, New York; the International Center of Photography, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; P.S.1, New York; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Musee d'Art Moderne de la ville de Paris; and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo among many others. She was named the Best Young Artist by the Chinese Contemporary Art Award in 2006 and was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize in 2010. She served on the selection committee for the curatorship of the eighth Berlin Biennale.