COSplayers | Cao Fei

Feb 26, 2006 – Apr 6, 2006
Para/Site Art Space
4 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan
Opening Reception
Opening with Cosplayer Party
Performance by Sang Fan
Feb 25, 2006

Cao Fei


Para Site Art Space is excited to present the solo exhibition of Guangzhou artist Cao Fei, one of China’s most acclaimed young artists, whose work has been widely exhibited in various Biennials, solo and group exhibitions around the globe. In ARTFORUM, Hans Ulrich Obrist calls her work “both critical and spectacular, using pop culture as a bridge rather than as a simple reference in the ubiquitous orgy of appropriation and revival” .

Her conceptual, earnest and humorously imaginative oeuvre spans from videos, photography, sound pieces to theatre productions. Cao’s art bridges into visual arts with the use of popular culture and shifts through different subcultures and phenomenon to create the surreal landscapes that she is most known for – actors incased in Burberry behaving like dogs reenact a hysteric day in the office, ordinary people dancing to hip-hop on the street, people dressed in Chinese shopping bags and a stage production incorporating Guangzhou’s street youths are just a few examples of using the city’s everyday life to analyze and render the current social situation where traditions and new influences are constantly in conflict.

Her exhibition in the Para Site Art Space features her most successful work to date – COSplayers, a film and installation project.

Cosplayers (Costume players) are fans of Japanese Manga-comix who dress up and act as their favorite characters. The group of Cosplayers featured in her video work is emblematical of the generation of youngsters growing up during the last two decades amidst China’s rapid development. Cao Fei presents a real subculture suffused in illusions through her work and reflects the dilemma of youth existence and ennui emerging in the face of Chinese urban and economic transformations. These players navigate in-between worlds of fantasy sword fights and mundane reality and by juxtaposing them against the domestic and urban backdrops, the parallel realities in play in COSplayers reveal the life attitudes of China’s modern-day youth as alienated urban superheroes trying to deal with the urgent reality and the unease of populations left out of economic miracles.


More materials are available to view on site at Para Site. 

Click here to see a full inventory of all archive materials and contact us at for enquiries, to request an appointment to view materials, and for archival materials donations.


The Archive Project is financially supported by the Project Grant of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.



Related Event

Feb 26, 2006
Habitus, 3/F, Western Market, Sheung Wan

Artist Talk with Cao Fei


Video documentation of exhibition opening part 1 (2006/ex_1/box 23/14)

Video documentation of exhibition opening part 2 (2006/ex_1/box 23/14)

Video documentation of exhibition opening part 1 (2006/ex_1/box 23/15)

Video documentation of exhibition opening part 2 (2006/ex_1/box 23/15)