Artist & Work

  • SOCIAL FACTORY
  • URBAN=Work & Shop

Li Xiaofei

Born in 1973, lives and works in Shanghai



For Li Xiaofei, the assembly line represents a repetitive, identical, mechanical and even unemotional means of production, one which efficiently and rapidly expands the value of production to the utmost. Such repetition and sameness do not refer merely to machines but also include the workers living amid all this as well as the final products. The assembly lines in factories seem to protect a fundamental order of social systems on the surface through validating the means of production. Given this sense of order, what is unexpected is that he even senses a collective Romanticism. Order exists at once inside and outside their bodies while possessing a sense of reality beyond that of the everyday. After production, the products from the “world factory” embark on their journey towards different ports around the world.


In every harbor, the pre-fabricated concrete parts of anti-wave barriers – as architectural structures placed between the sea and land – prevent the coastline from being eroded by waves and silt, thereby allowing ships to moor. Li Xiaofei replicated with fiberglass the prefab, cross-shaped concrete parts. Objects with specific practical value are thus transformed into purely formal abstract objects. In the exhibition hall, he also constructs a small island embankment, with the difference that on the other side of the embankment – instead of the vast oceans of global shipping – lies the venue for artworks.