(b. 1978, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China)
As someone who grew up in one of the main hubs of China's economic growth, Cao Fei comments that her culture is that of 'an almost theatrically materialistic era drunk on and dazed by its possessions, divorced from the political ideology of the previous generation.' Much of her work looks at the social consequences of globalisation and reflects on the rapid changes that are occurring in Chinese society today. In addition to making multimedia installations and videos, she has also created a project that only exists on 'Second Life', a virtual platform on the internet. Her RMB City, created under the alias of China Tracy, Cao's online avatar, functions as an online laboratory for experiments in art, design, architecture, literature, cinema, politics, economy and society.
Pak Sheung Chuen (b. 1977, Anxi, Fujian, China)
Pak Sheung Chuen's intriguing and often humorous conceptual art frequently takes the form of oblique interventions into public life. Rather than producing physical artworks, he concentrates on orchestrating situations, documenting the results on video and in photographs and by presenting significant found objects. Believing in yuanfen, the Chinese idea of fateful coincidence or convergence, his work aims to make everyday life more meaningful by drawing attention to the unexpected potential of the ordinary, with its 'small miracles and hidden messages'. Pak's creative process has been directly affected by his experience of contributing weekly art projects to the local Ming Pao newspaper for four years, during which he walked around Hong Kong's streets, seeking inspiration in everyday things in random places. In 2009 Pak represented Hong Kong at the Venice Biennale. His third book, Odd One In II: Invisible Travel (2009), documents his alternative approach to exploration and of 'seeing with his inner eye' during journeys in Italy, New York, Korea, Malaysia and China.
The Orchid Pavilion
Cao Fei hosts a discussion at The Orchid Pavilion, a winding stream installation.
The project is based on a cultural gathering/drinking contest that took place during the Six Dynasties era in China: cups of wine were set afloat down a winding creek and poets would have to drink and compose a poem each time a cup stopped near them.
For the class, Cao Fei focuses on the Taoist concept of Wu wei, or 'effortless action', which cultivates a state of being in which our actions are aligned with the elemental cycles of the natural world to allow us to respond to situations with ease. Participants are asked to discuss a subject chosen by the artist each time they drink a cup of wine. Cao Fei leads the discussion with fellow artist Pak Sheung Chuen.
Concessions: 50% off (limited availability)
Venue: Hayward Gallery 5 Sculpture Court
Approximate duration: three hours
This class involves alcohol consumption
Strictly over 18s only