"Time doesn't pass in the same way for everyone". It's been a few years since I last entered the world of Second Life. While I've grown a fair amount of grey hair, and wrinkles and spots have crept up on my face, she's still youthful and beautiful as in 2006 when I first created her. Perhaps there has never been a real “deceleration of time” nor a “length contraction (or time dilation)”.
China Tracy, once a romantic Cyber woman with a scepter in her hand, now resumes her role as a wanderer nearly a decade after the loss of her virtual kingdom - the RMB City. On the edge of an unknown land, she decides to fly to a moon that never falls, only to be stranded by an invisible wall on the border between the land and the sea. No matter how hard she struggles to break through the panoramic ceiling of this Truman’s world, she hovers, stalls and spins in a loop until she dies as the computer crashes. she can still be reborn the next time she enters the world, but it never changes the fact that she can never reach the moon.
The relationship between China Tracy and me is ambivalent in which our identities and the real and the virtual are ambiguous. We can feel that our respective earths are moving. But the notions of past, present and future, here, elsewhere, nowhere, etc. all seem to end.
Music: Ma Haiping
Cao Fei (aka China Tracy, b. 1978) is one of the most innovative Chinese artists to have emerged on the international contemporary art scene. Mixing social commentary, popular aesthetics, references to Surrealism, and documentary conventions in her films and installations, her work reflects on the rapid and developmental changes that are occurring in Chinese society today.
Cao’s work has been exhibited at a number of biennials and triennials, including the 15th and 17th Biennale of Sydney, the 2017 Istanbul Biennial, and the 50th, 52nd, and 56th Venice Biennales. Over the past five years, she has had solo shows at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2021), the MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts, Rome (2021), the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019), K21 Düsseldorf (2019), the Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2018), and MoMA PS1, New York (2016). Exhibitions and screenings of her work have taken place at the Serpentine Galleries (2008, 2006) and Tate Modern, London (2014, 2013, and 2002); the Guggenheim Museum (2018, 2011) and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2016, 2015); in Paris at the Fondation Louis Vuitton (2016), the Palais de Tokyo (2017, 2005) and the Centre Pompidou (2019, 2014, and 2003). In 2019, Cao participated in an AR art project initiated by APPLE and the New Museum, New York.
In 2017, Cao became the first Chinese artist to be commissioned by the BMW Art Car Project. She is the recipient of the 2016 Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA) / Best Artist and the 2016 Piedra de Sal Award of the Cuenca Biennale. She has served on the juries for some of the most prestigious art awards, including the Hugo Boss Asia Art Prize (2019). The artist lives in Beijing.