Cao Fei. Supernova



curated by Cristiana Perrella

in collaboration with MAXXI, Rome



Two museums come together for the first solo exhibition in Italy by one of the most innovative and visionary artists of the international artistic scene. Supernova, an exhibition dedicated to Cao Fei (born in Guangzhou in 1978 and based in Beijing), whose work explores the real and virtual, documentation and fiction, memory and the time to come, marking the accelerated transition from thousand-year old traditions to a hyper-technological future witnessed in China but that, to various degrees, concerns the entire planet, opens in December 2021, simultaneously at the MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo in Rome and the Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato.

In these two locations, the exhibition presents a very extensive survey of the artist's work, starting with works created at the start of her career up to the latest one, exploring the main themes such as the impact the technological revolution has had on our lives, the relationship between humans and machines, and the construction of the self in the era of virtuality.


Cao Fei. Supernova at the MAXXI, curated by Hou Hanru and Monia Trombetta, introduces the works within an installation path that starts with real and sometimes private places in the artist's life – contemporary China, her neighbourhood, her study, her house – presenting us with a vision of a threatening and surreal virtual future.


Curated by Cristiana Perrella, Cao Fei. Supernova at the Centro Pecci concentrates in particular on the vision of the near future read through the transformations occurring in the world of work. 


The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication containing texts by the curators and Wang Hongzhe, Olivia Koo, Simone Pieranni, Patrick Rhine, published by Nero Editions.



December 18th, 2021 – May 2022


On cover: Cao Fei, Asia One, 2018. Video Still / © Cao Fei, Sprüth Magers Vitamin Creative Space

Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci

Viale della Repubblica, 277, 59100 Prato PO, Italia