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Cao Fei
Chinese (b. 1969)

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Her subjects are teenagers obsessed with Japanese anime who dress up as their favorite characters and act out dramatic battles. These role-playing games are called Cosplay (short for costume play). She captures these characters as they confront one another in front of banal cityscapes, and at rest, still colorfully spandexed, in their homes. Her characters play against the backdrop of globalization—skyscrapers, housing projects, freeway overpasses, and so on. In order to escape this world, the Chinese youths have turned to Japanese culture, yet despite the elaborate costumes, the Cosplayers are still in the drab, polluted landscapes of 21st-century China.

More information about this artist

"Tussle" by Cao Fei

Cao Fei
Tussle, 2004
C-Print
29.2 x 39.2 in