Multimedia artist Cao Fei examines the effects of rapid economic growth and urban development on everyday life in China. Encompassing photography, video, and digital media, her work explores China's internet culture as well as the intersection between dreams and reality. She blends social commentary, popular aesthetics, references to Surrealism and documentary conventions in her films and installations.
Cao Fei is a professor and a master advisor of the School of Experimental Art at the Central Academy of Fine Arts.
Her work has been exhibited at solo exhibitions in a number of institutions, including the MAXXI, Rome (2021); UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2021); Serpentine Galleries, London (2020); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019); K21 Düsseldorf (2018); Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2018); and MoMA PS1, New York (2016). She has also participated in the Guangzhou Triennial (2002, 2005 and 2008); Venice Biennale (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015); Sydney Biennial (2006 and 2010); Istanbul Biennial (2007); Yokohama Triennial (2008); and New Museum Triennial, New York (2009).
Cao Fei is the recepient of the Best Young Artist Award (2006) and Best Artist Award (2016) from the Chinese Contemporary Art Award. Cao was nominated for the Rolls-Royce Art Program Muse (2019) and has won the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize (2021).
She was on the jury of the Selection Committee for the Curatorship of the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014), the jury of the Bonnefanten Award for Contemporary (2016) and the jury of Hugo Boss Asia Art Prize (2019).
She earned a BFA from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (2001).
Born in in 1978 in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, Cao Fei lives and works in Beijing.