Cao Fei

The multimedia artist who’s preoccupied with the rapid cultural transformation of China

‘No young artist has a sharper view of the future than Cao Fei,’ wrote The New York Times’s Jason Farago on seeing the Beijing-based artist’s new commission Asia One (2018) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York this summer. The film tackles the red-hot topic of automated manufacturing and robot labour. This past November, the subject was enhanced reality when Cao’s BMW art car raced for the first time in Macao. Survey exhibitions of Cao’s work took place this year in Hong Kong (the first solo exhibition at the newly opened Tai Kwun Contemporary) and Düsseldorf’s K21 (a reiteration of Cao’s widely praised 2016 show at MoMA PS1), tracing the impact of everything from cosplay and Second Life to urban development and the blurry distinctions between work and play. All of which has demonstrated that Cao is very much leading the way in raising the key issues of tomorrow’s society today.