At another gallery, I also tried to photograph a Chinese painting I
really liked. Suddenly, a guy popped out of the back room and shook a
finger. No pictures here, lady.
Say what? Why?
explained that I was admiring an actual original painting. By
photographing it, I would be violating the artist’s intellectual
property rights. Really? I thought. So, what about the intellectual
property rights of the artists whose work — mostly Western masterpieces —
is copied over and over again and hangs all over the gallery, which sells mostly copies of
Western masterpieces? He was kidding, right?
Nope, not kidding. No photo, lady.
dissatisfied as I was with the merchant’s explanation, I had to
acknowledge that the vast majority of paintings produced before the 20th
century are considered public domain and can be freely copied and sold.
Moreover, there’s a huge market appetite for imitation art
throughout the world. U.S. retailers such as Pier 1 are known to carry
oil paintings from China. Add to this all those hotels, motels and
furnished Florida condominiums that buy imitations of paintings — many
imported from China — by the gross.
There is also a factor that goes back to the roots of Chinese art.
masterpiece is an honorable craft in countries such as China and Japan.
Working in traditional calligraphy and pottery, budding artists are
actually encouraged to quietly observe the master first, and then copy
the masterpiece to learn the fundamentals.
In that light, a
Chinese art student might not feel even mildly larcenous as he makes a
meticulous copy of a Van Gogh – at least at first. But, hired to
mass-produce a hundred copies of the same Van Gogh, followed by three
dozen Mona Lisas, the conscientious artist might eventually suffer
enough second thoughts to rethink his or her career.
I’m not suggesting at all, however, that China lacks original art or original ideas.
its thousands of years of history, China has conceived several museums’
worth of unique art forms ranging from ink wash paintings to
The story of post-war Japan provides a telling
parallel to present-day China. Japan after the war got busy making
knockoff toys and gadgets. Decades passed before Japan’s economy drew
close to the West. As this happened, Japanese design and industry caught
up also in innovation, originality and quality. Similarly, China is now
going through what might be called its imitation phase, as it waits for
its pre-Cultural Revolution traditions — in art, design and
entrepreneurial pizzazz — to come fully back to life.
the successful ecosystems created both in Da Fen Village and the Pearl
River Delta — with all the merchants, distributors, developers and
manufacturers in one place — are a model that Western high-tech
companies are emulating today in hopes of gaining efficiency and bigger
The following slideshow illustrates street corners of
Da Fen Oil Painting Village, and the basic operations of their
Chinese art mass-produced
Paintings mass-produced and sold at Da Fen Village are not limited to Van Gogh, Rembrandt or Monet. They include copies of traditional Chinese paintings as well.
I don't know if it should be viewed as other than a human way of making lifescale postcards or photographs. Maybe pretentious? As long as they include the artist and copyright in the fine print at a corner or on the label, shouldn't be dismissed as knockoff.
hey, junk o, you might gone too far in generalize the term 'knockoff nation'.
china has been diligent in generating original IPs , TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA etc. there could be a couple of unlawful individuals around as every where on top of the earth.
how about we call jap ' whaling nation' 'prostitute nation' or 'nuked nation'?
which one you prefer?
""Wait. You sell fake art produced by artists who copied them from books. But I am not allowed to take a picture of your fake art?""
Once I was in singapore downtown, I was stopped by a guard while I was trying to photo a building (capital group). the reason is simple , this is private property.
you seems too dumb to understand what is 'private property', that's exactly your ancestors problem. They don't understand what's is other ppl's property, they have a right to it, you can't just walk in, take pictures, or take anything you are interested in.
does EET has a editor in charge to censor this dumb and crazy ... before she post something?
listen "sprite", that is here a free country, and we have our moral value system therefore she could write about her experience without any censur, in case you do not like it you do not need to agree with it, by the way these pictures IP was already a stolen IP from the artist who created it--I meant not that poor Chines guy who copied it ,but Van Gogh -- since the Chines artist just copied it =stolen IP. And to taking picture of private buildings? if they are so private why these buildings are there? and so visible to anybody, and if you have problem with that system which we herited from our ancestors --you do not know enough -as it looks from your comment-- but have problem with--you are free to go there where other value systems apply
To all the strangely bitter people making angry posts to this article, I recommend you check your own attitudes.
The new Chinese economy, since rejecting central planning, has long had an element of copying movies and software. This is what the author is referring to. The article is taking a look at an example of how this copying economy works in the case of paintings, and how some artists in China have already moved up the food chain and made original art. The exact same dynamic is going on in the electronics industry.
To the people who read this and infer some kind of nationalistic insult, I feel sorry for you.
Ditto on that - remember walking into tape copying shops in the '80's - they were duping them right there.... ;) But PLEASE, stop being so defensive - the author has mentioned that this is a phase, and things are changing - what is the problem? She could have easily brought up much more "dirt" if she wanted to, but kept it to the point of this city - you should be proud as the paintings look great, and you have already developed supply chains for them.
I respect the artists who keep training their skills by even copying. They have the spirit of craftmanship. On the contrary, we cannot find that working spirit in the US. Our kids become lazy, they don't respect hardworking anymore and only like to pointing fingers and play politics. What a pity.
Ditto again (need a "like" button). We have the saying that "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". China has much bigger issues to be defensive about than something you really can't even deny like copy cat paintings - what about the duped Apple stores and products... Why litter these boards with this crap - If you are government sponsored tell your bosses to go to hell and worry about real threats, otherwise spend you time copying our ideals of free speech - we (the western world) criticize ourselves more than you ever can so why waste our time here?
I was disappointed that there were no prices quoted for these proverbial Chinese copies. I wouldn't mind owning one.
I suppose the overriding question is what price should we pay to enjoy great art. We can legitimately listen to a good reproduction of a Beethoven symphony in our home with a decent sound system repeatedly for less than $20 for the CD.
We could enjoy the Mona Lisa for a few minutes by flying to Paris and paying admission to the Louvre. Most entrepreneurs don't charge for "just looking". Now that would be a revenue scheme for store owners to at least directly recover the costs of displaying their wares.
If you're really rich you may have a go at buying a master's original and enjoy looking at it whenever you had the urge. Most master's originals are purchased as an investment and locked away in a vault. I'm sure every single Master would disagree with his masterpieces not seeing the light of day or at best making a tidy sum for their rich owners when on exhibition.
A book is cheap but hardly has the impact of an original. You're not going to fool anyone that you have an original Monet.
Vincent van Gogh bashed off his thousands of paintings in less than 30 minutes each, and yet holds the record for total value at auction. Vincent led a miserable and impoverished life without any rewards or recognition in his lifetime.
These Chinese copy artists are talented, no doubt and make a living well above that of van Gogh. In a way they are no different than musicians doing their interpretation of a master's work. Would they be better off doing original paintings, live in poverty and then be worth a fortune after they die? I'm sure many of them do their own thing on the side, but at least they make a living doing what they love and are good at - painting.
Technology has allowed us to enjoy most art-forms with nearly full emotional impact at reasonable cost.
We've routinely listened to recorded music for over a century from Edison's cylinders, to records, to tapes, to CDs to iPods. Movies have evolved from silent films, to talkies, through color, surround sound and 3D right into our home theaters.
Paintings are long overdue for a technological revolution. A reproduction in a small book just doesn't cut it any more. Even a large print lacks the subtle surface texture from brushstrokes. Perhaps robotics can be applied to produce a reproduction worthy of the masterpiece at prices affordable by most.
Every artist wants his art to be enjoyed by many, not just the rich few.
The Google Art Project attempts to do what you are talking about by digitizing artwork in very high resolution (enough to see individual brush strokes on many paintings). You just need to be able to afford a decently sized and high quality monitor to see great art in a high quality rendering.
Name calling and insults neither advance our understanding of an issue nor demonstrate rational thought. A carefully reasoned respectful discussion may open our minds to new insights and issues. However, when people hurl insults, ethnic and personal attacks, their positions are hard to take seriously.
I've always found the commentary for EE Times articles to be insightful and informative, many times even more so than the articles themselves.
What I've never found is the personal attacks and childish name calling that you see routinely reading comments on almost any other site on the internet. To see it here is disappointing.
My Comments - Part 1.
I still do not get the purpose of this article. Does the author have objection to something that happens in Da Fen?
Second thing is - what is this article doing in EE Times? Is it that news and information about electrical and electronics falling short to fill in the columns? I saw absolutely no relevance of this article here in EE Times.
With apologies to the author, I may dare to say that perhaps the main focus of this article is about similar meaning words - piracy (of intellectual property) Vs replica making. Technically, one can easily make a distinction betwen these two phrases. However, let me give a perspective from an art lover point of view below.
Before I go there, I saw one comment someone made on a certain nation's tradition about making piracy. My comment on that - As far as Piracy is concerned - especially in historical perspective and in the context of Western Vs Eastern, please go back in time some 200-300 years, one will find enough examples to feel bad about piracy and one can even find that some great nations of today formed some companies in the name of doing business but were given the charter to do piracy by the respective kings and queens of those nation. If one really wants to go this historical way - it is an unending debate. So let's not even bother about branding someone based on history/race.
My Comments - (Part 2)
I do respect the Intellectual Property and hence buy music, paintings and literary work. But please note that - there is a big difference between art forms such as the music, dance, books and painting/sculpture. Painting, sculpting, carving seem to be the only art forms that need material - paint, brush, canvass, stone, tools etc apart from the creative mind of the artist. The other art forms are blessed by technology and hence can be recorded and can be rendered through suitable media. Therefore painting, sculptures are the only art forms for which one has to travel to the place where originals are kept. Those who really enjoy art and are priviledged to travel without too many hurdles really do so for the original paintings/sculptures, no doubt, are great pieces of art created by perhaps greatest creative minds that existed on this planet. However for a person like me, though I like to buy the art, buying the original paintings/sculptures is way beyond my capacity. Also I am not a painter/sculptor who can make an exact replica for personal consumption. Printed/photographed copy is an option but then you don't have a "painting" made with real colors and brushes done with someone's hand on a canvass. In that case, if some artist really can make a replica as good as original with paint and brush and sells it as a replica - it will be my honor to buy that replica (if affordable to me) from such an gifted artist. From my point of view - making an exact replica as original is an art in itself and not an easy one.
The problem with Music piracy is different. There is no other artist than the original involved and only machines are involved in making copies of the original art. Here also - if some artist can render the music of original artist - listening to this replica in live will be more enchanting than the rendetion on a machine.
Nice debate going on, I honestly don't feel bad at all for such things, and I'm even a bit proud of it actually. Arts are long gone from modern world, I'm glad to see great arts 5km from where I lived. I of course vote for paying Van Gogh something for copyright if he is still around, but for sure not to the ones who bought their paintings and locked in their safe for centuries. 1) I don't think artists sell copyrights along with paintings if you really know what copyright is, 2) copyright has about 100 years of valid time, 3) most artists will be happy that someone do marketing for them, and more people will want to see the original after they see the "knockoff", 4) these arts are everywhere on the internet, on thousands of computers's wallpaper, I don't see people writing articles about it, 5) I wonder how this author feels about taking pictures in others private properties secretly, 6) .... I can give hundreds of things but what I sometimes feel like, is some people loves to slander others and put themselves on an upper position on (morality?)
Why admin not removed the post from unethical poster that containe insult, harsh word, and so on from this tread like they do at one poster from the other article (about Japan semi.). This is family site right. Thanks.
Dear Junko : of all your articles on Electronics in the Far East I enjoyed this one on mass produced copies of western art the most. It captures both China's drive to export as well as brazen violation of international norms because we are always looking for a bargain. But you have been very balanced and even mentioned how Japan, your own native country, went through the same phase after WW II.
What you have diplomatically omitted to mention is that while it took Japan at most 3 decades to reach parity with the US ( by export ) and then become more self - sustained in terms of technology etc., it would take China perhaps 200 years to reach that stage ( their population being at least 6x of Japan and 3x of the US and current per capita by PPP still 1/5 th ). One wonders how much more misery will be brought on the World economy, resources & environment ( killing rhinos and tigers for their horns & parts instead of just buying Viagra ) by China's irresponsible urge to catch up after 5 centuries of mostly self - created stagnation.
What a real reason that countries such as China and India need to have produce that much of population. I heard its reason is because of war especially for China wheres they need to sustain enough manpower for soldiers to combet foreign invasion. But how about India what are thier reason. And if combine the mainland and outside diasporas this two races is the largest.
Even sometimes I thinking like this two races is like the choosen race in earth (I know its not true, just a naughty thoughts).
Anyway, what actually is the real reason behind it. If USA which land as big as China having just 316 M population which I speculate able to produce a number like China but not to do so, why is China? Not to say they can't have large population but for what reason? Thanks.
Luckily,I live near Da Fen Village,it's a place famous for the paintings.It's a beautiful place that we can see many famous paintings and it does have a hisotry.They are almost copies,that's true.but at least we can know them,enjoy them,or even afford to one.Butfor the REAL ones,we just heard from the internet or hisotry book,we maybe never have a chance to know them,so do you think it's a loss for the paintings or the artists ?
AND,how can you just name China as Knockoff nation ? Is that because of the copy paintings ? I think all the contries have copy-things
Let me clarify a few things here. I enjoyed visiting Da Fen Village and I do admire the great work done by those copyists there. I have a great respect for them and their work.
But the point for my writing this story was to use Da Fen as a metaphor.
When the Da Fen village some day becomes famous as an artist colony where genuinely original art is being developed (which I hear the Shenzhen government had been hoping for), these artists, I am sure, will find richer rewards.
I have nothing against Da Fen. Rather, I was impressed with the way all the merchants and artists came together, and developed such an efficient ecosystem around their business -- much the same way the Pearl River Delta region has flourished.
junko,thanks for your reply,I understand what you said,it's just that almost all the comments are about copy.I know copy is everywhere,not only in China.I didn't mean to argue with you.there is a proverbin China that Where there is demand there is market.
How about every people in earth just stop complaining and just get along and live a peaceful life. Not every countries in earth should every time come out with original idea or invention to become a counrty or great country. If this is taken as a world rule and must be obey I'm sure not many country will became a developed nation not even european countries, not even USA or Japan, S.Korea etc.
We must knew its not newly happen today but has occur long time ago. But we as human must not forgot we are one species, we are not be neighbors or live with alien or something in this earth, its our own species. That why everybody should be thankful when we are given or blessed with genius, inventor, smart human not matter its White, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Arad, Black or etc. That mean no conflicted.
Here, in this tread we are not talking about more deeper matter like religon, culture, ideology or so on wheres problem its more complicated to solve to unite all human as one earth inhabitant. But just business, human creation, or technology metter. But to solve it as I state above we must think as one,and it can't be solve if people complicated their thingking. Thanks.
When the international corp. moneybags go to China they know full well that their ideas will be taken, their methods will be copied and yet they choose to go anyway. They dump their engineers at home and use cheaper once in China looking to make more and more money.
Well the locals take advantage by learning and copying whatever they can, in a way compensating themselves for lover pay. Can you blame them?
That's what I said, just get along with it. This will never change anytime soon. And for human in the land call USA or any other land, if they care for fellow human living there, you must do something very serious to fix it or else do not complaining or make excuses if you get more problems and just live with it. Your smart and wise decision is all needed. Thanks.
Junko, I do not believe you have to explain yourself. Copying results of somebody else IS in fact steeling. Because you are leapfrogging the author as you are bypassing the effort and the expense needed to create. In this industry those are decades of effort and galactic-size expenses. China is well known for disrespect to IP rights, latest effort not withstanding. And if you steel someone's IP benefiting on their greedy decisions it does not create an excuse and does not make it less of a steeling.
First of all - glad to know that this article is being used as a metaphor. And it is appropriate in a sense that that way no names need to be taken. However, on the other hand the danger of such a metaphor is that unless its boundaries are not defined by the one who is creating the metaphor, it either becomes unconstrained or contextless and hence losing its power as an appropriate metaphor. This is is my view.
From a scientific community point of view - think about it - by nature either we replicate or mutate and both have been and will be necessary for the evolution. This is how the nature has grown and this is how human race has grown. It is again the human beings who has added economics and the virtual boundaries in this natural context. But at the bottom of it the process is same. Sometimes it is visually demonstrated in one part of the human world in one context while next it is shown in different part of the human world in entirely different context. But no matter process remains same - replicate and mutate and evolve. In that context, in that part of the human world it is just appropriate at that point of time. One wants to induce a change in this process based on human added elements such as economics and virtual boundaries - then you better be mother nature else you are just interfering with some natural process (which has already been more and enough interfered.)
agree with 1 part, 2nd too confusion.
I remember many european museum feature art/antiques from other countries such as egypt, greece, india...
apparently they didn't buy it,
how should we catogorize such kind of activity?
regarding 2nd part:
1. I separate the two art forms. In first - replication can be done by machines. for example music. In second replication must be done by human beings. for example painting
2. If I want art form 1, I can buy it on a CD and I dont need to wait or go to a place where the singer performs music.
3. But if I want art form 2, I need to buy the human made replica or have an "image" of the original.
agree with 1 part, 2nd too confusion.
I remember many european museum feature art/antiques from other countries such as egypt, greece, india...
apparently they didn't buy it,
how should we catogorize such kind of activity?
She was trying to sneak inside a iiphone factory and take some pics. apparently she doesn't have the gut.
so she chose this innocent village and try to portray it as a sinnful example.
as you see this is nonsense, one can't mix cigar with weeds, whaling with fishing.
and the title is quite offensive indeed, I have to thank mr. truman for the determination.