Cao Fei: Shadow Plays
The Mistake Room
1811 E. 20th St., Los Angeles
Through November 21, 2015
Cao Fei’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, Shadow Plays, features a chaotic conglomerate of contemporary urban forms in Chinese life. Focusing on the obscurities, Fei’s work offers a surreal sideways glance at China’s rapid development.
Utopian and dystopian universes exist in her video and “Second Life” artworks, representing the hypothetical extremities to which China is susceptible as a product of growth and potential collapse.
Pop-culture references punctuate Shadow Plays, intertwining developmental, cultural, psychological, and economic shifts in her home country. Fei adds an overriding sense of playfulness to the situation. The almost childlike arrangement and oversaturation of components makes the dystopian undertones of her work all the more disturbing, amplifying the fact that, like children, we are all perhaps powerless to the external forces being exhibited on and in China today.