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A hollow in a world too full—Cao Fei solo at Tai Kwun Contemporary

Cao Fei 曹斐
A hollow in a world too full
Tai Kwun Contemporary 
10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong 

8 Sep – 9 Dec 2018

Presented by UCCA尤倫斯當代藝術中心呈獻
Curated by: Philip Tinari in association with Xue Tan 策展人 : 田霏宇 (譚雪聯同籌劃)

Cao Fei is among the most internationally renowned artists of her generation. Her first major solo exhibition in Hong Kong centres around the newly commissioned work Prison Architect. Comprised of a film, installations, and sculptures, the work subtly spreads throughout the three floors of Tai Kwun Contemporary’s exhibition spaces. Inspired by the sombre historical material of Victoria Prison and shot with downtown Central as backdrop, the new work conceives of a scenario where “an architect hesitantly accepts an invitation to design a prison”. In the film, the two protagonists each entertain imaginations and personal experiences of imprisonment in two parallel realities (one of the present day and the other of an ambiguous past). This cross-temporal-spatial dialogue reflects the artist’s contemplations on our relationship with the world.

Apart from this ambitious film installation, the exhibition also showcases Cao Fei’s creative practice for the past ten years, touching upon her rich fictitious imaginings of different realities—whether apocalyptic, related to unmanned machines, or the virtual; her skilled techniques and sensitivity at moulding characters; the way that dialogic structures in her films evolve into critiques of reality; and the collaborative mode of art-making which has become her hallmark attribute. Prison Architect, the film commissioned for this exhibition, marks the first collaboration between Cao Fei and the Hong Kong award-winning cinematographer Kwan Pun Leung.

Image: Prison Architect by Cao Fei, video, 2018. Courtesy Tai Kwun Contemporary.

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