House of Treasures

Outdoor inflatable sculpture
1500 x 700 x 500 cm
Edition of 1

Cao Fei’s inflatable suckling pig references the relationships between tradition, experience, memory and reality. In the region of Southern China that Cao Fei is from, the suckling pig is both a culinary delicacy and a symbol of good fortune, habitually employed in rituals and cultural celebrations. Exploring the layers of meaning inferred on an object by experience and information, the sculpture’s bulbous red eyes will, to those familiar with Cantonese tradition, be identifiable as the maraschino cherries commonly used in presenting the cooked animal. This work is an interactive piece and viewers are invited to enter the belly of the pig where they are confronted by inflatable cuts of pork meat, which unequivocally assert the role the creature is destined to play. Fascinated by the rapidly evolving practices and habits of contemporary Chinese youth culture, Cao Fei’s sculpture can be interpreted as both a portrait of personal experience, and a playful comment upon the declining role of cultural traditions in an increasingly globalised society.


About The Artist

Cao Fei creates multimedia projects that comment on the experience of growing up in modern day China as a young person. They often refer to China's rapidly changing society and mix social commentary with pop aesthetics and surrealism. Fei will often weave fantasy and reality together by framing her surrealistic films in documentary style. This inevitably has an unnerving effect and leads to the provocation of questions about where the fantasy screen begins and ends in her films and reality. By touching on reality and fantasy in such a casual and joyous way Cao Fei skilfully addresses our highly digitized contemporary world and exposes our increasingly efficient ability to adapt to extreme technological change.

Cao Fei

Born: 1978

Other Artworks by Cao Fei at CASS



Father is a full-length documentary film that focuses on the production and installation of a sculpture of the late Chin…