Julia Stoschek Collection

Hip Hop Guangzhou

Cao Fei
2003 / video / colour / sound

In her playful and ironic visual language, Cao Fei explores the rapid social and cultural changes in her homeland China. For her series of works “Hip Hop” (2003) she expands the concept of sampling and sets citizens in motion.

An elegantly dressed female read is dancing on a street, wearing a red cuff on her upper arm. In the background is a parasol with Chinese lettering and two seated people.

Cao Fei, Hip Hop Guangzhou, 2003. Video, 3', colour, sound. Video still

Courtesy of the artist and Creative Vitamine Space, Guangzhou. On loan from the JULIA STOSCHEK FOUNDATION, Berlin/Düsseldorf

  • 3 min

The Chinese artist Cao Fei belongs to a generation of artists for whom digital media and network technologies are part of everyday life. In her exploration of the achievements of new media, her home city of Guangzhou acts as both a catalyst and a backdrop for her work. This also applies to her project “Hip Hop”, which, alongside versions in New York and in Berlin, focuses on Guangzhou, transforming people from diverse national, social, and cultural backgrounds into hip-hop dancers. The movements of fruit sellers and policemen, that appear awkward when set to an even rhythm, breaks the strict boundaries between the media-dominated lives of the younger generation and the everyday lives of their parents’ generation, raising questions about homogenisation while also evoking memories of traditional formation dances by groups of Chinese workers.