Li Cao: Breathe Residency

Li Cao: Breathe Residency

2 November – 4 December 2012

Li Cao is an artist based in Chongqing, one of the fastest growing cities in terms of urban development in China. Li Cao’s work has always been inspired by his urban surrounding in Chongqing and the effects this rapid urban growth is having on the people, the environment and the cityscape.

The artist has noticed a distinct trend emerging amongst the China based property agencies; a trend which tends to take elements of Western architecture and utilise it in new urban designs for Chinese modern cities. For Li Cao, however, these snippets of Western architecture, old and new, are being fragmented and edited too much to ever sit comfortably within their Eastern setting. The end result is often fast and careless design choices, mismatched and with no clear identity. Li Cao has taken this concern as his point of reference for his residency project here at Chinese Arts Centre.


Documenting the local architecture and urban design of Manchester throughout his time here, Li Cao has been adapting and distorting this imagery to reflect his feelings about the buildings around him and to further associate what he calls the ‘China style’ of urban design with the Western architecture he has discovered here._DSC0389

For his open studio Li Cao is presenting a series of works in progress which visualise this idea ofdistorting and fragmenting architectural design. Through a series of artistic methods, including digital manipulation, mind mapping and 3D-based collage works, Li Cao is hoping that he can share his findings with you the audience. He also hopes that the works can reveal hidden connections between the City and its people and further asks you to help discover more connections by adding your own person links between buildings which appear on the first wall based work on the left.