RMB City

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RMB City © Courtesy of the artist and Lombard-Freid Projects
RMB City

518 West 19th Street
10011 New York

February 29th, 2008 - April 5th, 2008
Opening: February 29th, 2008 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tue-Fri 10-6; Sat 11-6


One of the most important young Chinese artists emerging on the international scene, Beijing based Cao Fei’s newest project RMB City opens at Lombard-Freid Projects on February 29th. RMB City has been created by Cao Fei’s avatar China Tracy as an experimental utopian world for the 3D online virtual community of Second Life. Institutions and investors have been invited to buy buildings in RMB City and program events and activities within them where other Second Life users can participate. Thousands of young people in Asia and around the world are embracing Second Life as a “parallel universe” on the Internet.



RMB City will be the condensed incarnation of contemporary Chinese cities with most of their characteristics; a series of new Chinese fantasy realms that are highly self-contradictory, inter-permeative, laden with irony and suspicion, and extremely entertaining and pan-political. China's current obsession with land development in all its intensity will be extended to Second Life. A rough hybrid of communism, socialism and capitalism, RMB City will be realized in a globalized digital sphere combining overabundant symbols of Chinese reality with cursory imaginings of the country's future.

___Cao Fei aka Second Life: China Tracy


From February 29th through April 5th, Lombard-Freid is providing China Tracy, as Chief Developer, with retail space for a New York RMB City leasing office and showroom. The public is invited to view an RMB City model, promotional videos, detailed RMB City photographs and go online via laptops providing real time links to RMB City under construction in Second Life.


The pure white RMB City Model proposes an ideal futuristic city in three dimensions for viewers outside of Second Life. China Tracy’s RMB City video projected onto a reflection pool showcases the myriad details of the metropolis – exposing layers of urban activity and the dense beauty of its architecture.


Also on view i.Mirror, Cao Fei's quasi-documentary of China Tracy’s adventures in Second Life over a 6 month period premiered at the last Venice Biennale. i-Mirror the 3-part machinima of her Second Life experience inspired Cao Fei aka China Tracy to build RMB City.


Cao Fei’s recent exhibitions include: Brave New Worlds at the Walker Art Center, and Laughing In A Foreign Language at The Hayward Gallery, London. The 10th International Istanbul Biennial, the 52nd International Venice Biennale, the Lyon Biennial, China Power Station: Part 1, at the Serpentine Gallery, and China Power Station: Part II, at Astrup Fearley Museum of Modern Art. Upcoming exhibitions include a solo retrospective at Le Plateau, Paris.