"Art making is a form of alchemy, in a way, because you are trying…to make gold from nothing. When it works very well is when you manage to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary."
Filmed for the occasion of Armory Focus: China at The Armory Show 2014 in New York City, curator Philip Tinari reflects on the work of Chinese artist Cao Fei. Tinari, director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing and curator of Armory Focus: China, acknowledges the artist as among the first figures of China's "On/Off Generation," and discusses how Cao is "an example of how one can be a Chinese artist working in a global context."
Cao Fei was first featured by Art21 in Season 5 (2009) of the Art in the Twenty-First Century series, and has since appeared in episodes of Art21's Exclusive series.
Philip Tinari began a partnership with Art21 in 2009, interviewing artist Cao Fei in Beijing for Season 5 (2009) of the Art in the Twenty-First Century series. Tinari would again partner with Art21 to interview artist Ai Weiwei in Beijing for Season 6 (2012).
Armory Focus is a specially curated section of The Armory Show that highlights the artistic landscape of a chosen geographic region. For The Armory Show 2014, Philip Tinari curated Armory Focus: China, shining new light on the country’s contemporary cultural practice.
CREDITS | Producer: Eve Moros Ortega. Interview: Eve Moros Ortega. Camera: Rafael Salazar. Sound: Ava Wiland. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: Cao Fei. Thanks: Philip Tinari, The Armory Show, Christopher Mao, John Tancock, and Lombard Freid Gallery. Theme Music: Peter Foley. Original Cao Fei segment excerpted from Season 5 (2009) of the Art in the Twenty-First Century series. © Art21, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.