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The Globetrotting Wunderkind
Fempire 22 Mar 2016

The Globetrotting Wunderkind
Artist, Beijing

Multi-travelling Cao Fei is one of those stalwart women who stands out from the crowd and is recognized with deep seated artistic position with her video installations and new media works that play with perception and reality in society – ranging from virtual worlds to Chinese factories. Exploring the themes of chaos in the contemporary society through social commentary, documentary conventions, and pop aesthetics, Cao Fei’s virtuoso not only reflects in her multimedia platform-based works, she recently was commissioned by BMW to transform the M6 GT3s into a masterpiece of art as celebration of the series 40th anniversary to be presented in museums in 2017.
On this exclusive talk, we chatted with the Beijing-based artist about that Google cardboard VR glass viewer, the ludicrous purchase of the mechanical horseback riding machine, and those non-cooperative molecules that enchant her.
Cao+Fei+Portrait+2015_by+Zhang+ChiMy ideal working outfit looks like…
60’s workwear (Chinese Blue).
My favourite art-related blog/app is…
The last thing I bought and loved was…
Google cardboard VR glass.
Most ridiculous thing I ever bought…
Horse riding machine (mechanical horseback riding).
My necessary extravagance is…
My time.
Cao Fei
You are also a mother of two. How do you manage to coordinate your career with family life?
I’m so lucky to have a greatest husband, he is an artist too but also is the best Michelin Chef in my mind.
What do you do if you have 15 mins on your own?
Ring my parents or sister.
Three things/products I always need to have in my purse…
Refreshing essential oil/fresh breath spray/hand Cream.
Your works often deal with the change and speed in the society. One of your next major projects is also connected to the theme of speed: the creation of the BMW art car, what to expect?
I’m look forward to visiting China BMW manufacturing plant.
One of your predecessors Robert Rauschenberg once said “Drivable museums would be great. This car is a dream come true for me”. What was your reaction once you got informed to create the next art car?
My reaction: What?! Car? Why me?
My favorites collision of the art- and fashion world…
Appreciate each other, use each other.
RMB City-A Second Life City Planning 05_2007_digital print_120x160cm

Cao Fei (SL avatar: China Tracy)
RMB City: A Second Life City Planning
Digital print
120 x 160 cm 
Courtesy of artist and Vitamin Creative Space

The most arty city is…
RMB City (virtual city project I created in Second Life 2008-2011), now was closed as back up zip file in my hard disk.
The perfect art-world gentlemen is…
Non-cooperative molecules.
Talking about powerful art world ladies – who did influence you most and why?
Cindy Sherman, Yoko Ono. Brave, tough, pro-active, strong, independent, and so on.
Cao Fei Instagram: @cao_fei
Cao Fei Website: www.caofei.com
Photos: by Zhang Chi

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