May 20, 2011

Cao Fei

With Shadow Life, a work composed of three distinct narrative sequences Cao Fei invokes the days of childhood. The narrative draws upon the remembrance of a Chinese Spring Festival Gala celebration that ran on China’s official Central Television. The composition creates images, at once real and imaginary, that emerge as light is cast across various forms and gestures of the human hand. Each chapter, A Rock, Dictator, and Transmigration, have different stories to tell. They flash with the colour of fairy tales, oriental life philosophy, as well as particular social and political references. A mysterious quality is knotted within the intricacy of the hand gestures and this mystery unsettles the viewer who cannot help but yearn for the connotations that lurk behind these childlike movements.