Whose Utopia  (2006), video still, courtesy of the artist

Whose Utopia (2006), video still, courtesy of the artist


Whose Utopia  

2006, video, 20’

With the background of the Pearl River Delta’s economic development, the OSRAM Factory, as one of the new space promoters, is taking part in the process of China’s integration into the globalised system. On the other hand, the power of the global market is penetrating local areas by means of multi-national corporations. As a result, the local economy is forced onto a global stage while young labourers from many inland provinces are entering this new international labor division.

In the Pearl River Delta area, multi-national corporation management and culture is gaining a new local experience. Because the majority of labourers in these corporations are new migrants from inland China, oversea companies and Chinese workers form a new assembly under globalisation, a new type of social relationships and forms. Hence, a swift reform of culture, capital and labour is progressing in the Pearl River Delta with the multinational flow of capital and cross- provincial population flow.

The Utopia project plans to explore the life of these migrant factory workers in the Pearl River Delta who represent the “backup force” for China’s competitiveness in a global economy; and how they achieve a totally new experience, new standard and new meaning in the overwhelming trend of globalisation. This project therefore allows us to see how they light up their “Utopia” in a new reality. Their utopia further exemplifies how the wider and wider globalisation is reshaping the Pearl Delta River area, and even the whole of China.



Born 1978 in Guangzhou, lives and works in Beijing

Known for her groundbreaking multimedia installations and videos that fusion real and virtual worlds, social commentary, popular aesthetics and documentary conventions in a surrealistic vein, CAO Fei creates works that are witness to the rapid and chaotic changes occurring in Chinese society today.

Her works have been widely shown at major museums, biennials and triennials around the world: Serpentine Gallery, Tate Modern, New Museum, Guggenheim Museum, MoMA, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Palais de Tokyo, and Centre Pompidou, Shanghai Biennale, Moscow Biennale, Taipei Biennale, Biennale of Sydney, Istanbul Biennale, Yokohama Triennale, Venice Biennale, etc. Her most recent exhibitions include “One Hand Clapping”, a Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative group show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and a retrospective at K21, in Dusseldorf.

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