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Cao Fei Brings 80s Arcade Light Spectacle to Hong Kong Skyscraper

Commissioned by ICC and Art Basel, Cao Fei's epic video installation of 80s game iconography takes over Hong Kong.

by Becky Chung
16 March 2015, 3:55pm

Cao Fei, Same Old, Brand New © Art Basel

Nestled into the brilliant and serene nightscape of Hong Kong near Kowloon harbor, a single skyscraper could be seen making a scene at Art Basel: on the 490-meter-high facade of the International Commerce Centre (ICC), Cao Fei’s massive video installation Same Old, Brand New, sees an LED Pac-Man crawling up the walls, a cartoonish fist punching a smiling emoticon upwards, Space Invaders-inspired ships shooting light, and pulsating pixelated hearts.

Fei is fascinated with escapism and the disillusionment of the Chinese youth, and explores the boundaries of reality and perception, in experiments that range from creating a virtual city in Second Life to examining the lives of Chinese factory workers. With playful imagery from games, Fei “attempts to turn collective memories into a current reality,” explains the press release. At the IFC Mall terrace, viewers can experience a synchronized audio track by local sound artist Dickson Dee’s compositions to accompany Fei’s visuals.

Cao Fei, Same Old, Brand New © Art Basel

Cao Fei, Same Old, Brand New © Art Basel

Cao Fei, Same Old, Brand New © Art Basel


A video posted by Randian (@randianonline) on

Commissioned by ICC and Art Basel, the work is part of a larger program called the ICC Light and Music Show. 


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Art Basel
Hong Kong
Cao Fei
International Commerce Centre
Same Old Brand New