Cao Fei: Whose Utopia, the first of these projects, presents the work of Cao, an artist born in Guangzhou, Guangdong, who addresses the complexities of the rapidly shifting contemporary moment. The artist spent six months at the OSRAM China Lighting Ltd., a factory in the Pearl River Delta in China, a major manufacturing base for everyday products for Chinese and foreign markets that has drawn workers from throughout China in search of economic opportunities and a better life. The installation is anchored by a video, Whose Utopia, and includes the everyday personal mementos and metal bunk beds present in the workers dormitories. The video is an eerily beautiful portrait of the factory and of the workers’ daily lives, fantasies, and aspirations. Scenes from the flow of the regular workday are interspersed with performances by a peacock dancer, a ballerina dressed as an angel, an electric guitar player, and a break dancer.
CCA Kitakyushu presents Cao Fei's "Whose Utopia."
"Whose Utopia" is a 20 minutes video work, made during Cao's participation to Siemens arts program. For the project Cao stayed for 6 months at OSRAM China Lighting Ltd., Foshan. The area where the factory is located is called Pearl River Delta Region, and has been drastically changed as one of the strongholds of Chinese economic activities which have shown a remarkable growth. The factory is one of the factors for the growth and change, and the people, especially the young generation, come from many parts of the country to work there for their better life. "Whose Utopia," focusing on the employees who perceive the country's drastic change as their opportunities and involve with the expansion, traces their life and dream they hold. It shows the reality of their workplace and social environment in the country which is more strongly marching than ever towards the modernization, contrasted with the dreamlike poetic scenes that are presented by the employees.