Cao Fei: Splendid River

Cao Fei: Splendid River

Texts: Cao Fei
Editors: Venus Lau, Jeanette Pacher, Tina Lipsky
Graphic design: Christoph Steinegger/Interkool
Secession I 9783957632609
2015 I English I16.5×22.2cm I 120

The Splendid River featured Cao Fei’s manuscripts and her novels over the past ten years or more. In the timeline formed with texts and images, the realities around the artist, her thoughts and feelings had been changing constantly. During people’s drifting with the trend in the world, Cao Fei took advantage of writing to create and portray characters. The strangers that passed by everyday, the familiar but suspicious neighbor of ours, the ego that flashed out occasionally as well as the languishing youths and plaintive maidens who were born in the dreams came alive as different roles in Cao Fei’s fiction to reunite. On an unpublished draft, the artist wrote, “The rivers, real and virtual, parallel, converge and overlap.”


The book was published on account for Cao Fei’s eponymous exhibition at the Secession in Vienna.



Building Fifteen 9

“Park Gates” and Beyond 17

Ear 29

Black Ink: The Security Guard 47

Works 57

Egg 73

The Pretend Couple 87

Movie 101

Do You Have a Belief? 111

Credits 120


About Cao Fei

Born in 1978 in Guangzhou, Cao Fei is one of the most innovative Chinese artists to have emerged on the international scene. Currently living in Beijing, she mixes social commentary, popular aesthetics, references to Surrealism, and documentary conventions in her films and installations. Her works reflect on the rapid and chaotic changes that are occurring in Chinese society today.


Image and Text: the shop, ©Authors, the shop, 2019


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