Apr 18

Painting Village – China

chinese painting July 2006
If you fancy an old master but don’t want to pay millions, Dafen, China, is the place to go. For a few dollars, the ‘painter workers’ will whip you up whatever you fancy. The village already supplies 600 galleries.

Just 17 years ago, Dafen was a rural backwater. Then art entrepreneur Huang Jiang moved in. “I needed lots of people to work for me. Here was a whole village”, he explains. By applying China’s production line techniques to art and training lots of artists, he has boosted the town’s turnover to $22 million p.a. Orders come in from around the world.

Produced by ABC Australia
Distributed by Journeyman Pictures

Duration : 0:7:22

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  1. 03ecnc says:

    Yes, and if they’ve …
    Yes, and if they’ve been dead for 500 years…

  2. kgraceart says:

    This makes me want …
    This makes me want to throw up. Copying a final work is nothing like creating it. these cheap imitations. these people for diminishing an artist’s endeavors. people for accepting cheap imitations. It is one thing for an artist to produce a mechanical reproduction of a work, but to steal an artist’s work and call it painting. That was the first rule in art school, you may emulate but not steal. You may learn, but paint with your own voice. the people who diminish art.

  3. deborahknight20 says:

    I am an Artist and …
    I am an Artist and if I could get a distributor I would do the same thing as I have a family to support, I guess you either make a lot of money or do not need to live from your paintings.

  4. oneblackhorse says:

    As a full time …
    As a full time professional artist myself, this video just disgusts me. These people may be painters and they may have skill, but they are not artists. Real artists create from their own heart, soul and experience. They don’t make a living out of “copying.” like these soulless idiots. They look absolutely pathetic working away on their little copies, tramping on the rights of others. What a waste.

  5. oneblackhorse says:

    You are completely, …
    You are completely, utterly WRONG. You need to learn copyright law. The moment a painter makes money off a “reproduction of an original”, they are violating copyright law. This is called stealing and this is very much illegal. The only exceptions would be if the original art in question is in the public domain, or if the copying artist has permission from the copyright owner to copy and sell his/her work.

  6. dgaa1000 says:

    I know living …
    I know living artists who have had their work (images) stolen and copied by these Chinese “artists”. The artists work was copyrighted and protected but that is ignored in China. This is nothing more than theft.

    The video only discusses copying old masters, not that of new artists. Theft of currently working artists work is a big problem in China. Do not support these “copying” businesses, which engage in criminal activity.

  7. firuinthehouse says:

    Oh please, “not …
    Oh please, “not difficult to copy” a Mona Lisa. Put it side by side with the original and you will see it IS difficult to do it well, if not impossible.

    That place should be called the printing village, not painting. Only guys painting there are the ones doing original work.

    Even the final piece at 6:39 has that cheap plastic Chinese feel to it, it just screams “table cloth” rather than painting.

    My 2 cents :)

  8. flaviadt says:

    O nariz da …
    O nariz da Gioconda ta grande na cópia.

  9. zeroinfinit says:

    There’s a …
    There’s a difference between great technique and great creativity and even then there’s a difference between art and really innovative art – dictated by the continuity of history, the market, critics, etc. You talk about musicians, but they are just interpreters. They can be brilliant because playing music is not just playing the notes, it’s about interpreting. Paintings are just that, objects in time, they are not about “interpreting” (only subjectively), and that’s a big difference.

  10. pickupcorn says:

    I wish I could go …
    I wish I could go there to live in order to improve my own artwork. :o(

  11. bluhousworker says:

    I support that idea …
    I support that idea!!! I see now you wrote this two years ago, so maybe you have already started that business, if you have let me know so I can send you some employees.

  12. bluhousworker says:

    It is almost …
    It is almost impossible to create an original piece of art without being influenced by someone. Art is not sacred art is the product of human creativity and has nothing to do with your god or gods. I believe your point of view about art needs some updating. Consider things like Dada, or post modern, or pure conceptual art and installations. There truly is nothing sacred about art.

  13. bluhousworker says:

    do you mean pass …
    do you mean pass them off as originals?

  14. wayzotoichi says:

    well said.
    well said.

  15. wayzotoichi says:

    People in Europe …
    People in Europe regualrly copy masterpieces for commission, it’s obviously original amsterpiece work, it’s technical brilliance, but not artisitc genius. You can’t argue against people copying master paintings and selling them, the imagery is part of the world’s heritage. The people buying them are aware they are not hosting an orginal. The painters’ do exactly what it says on the tin no more or less. Like I said, people do this here commission. British-based artists do it too.

  16. Hanul91 says:

    copy copy copy, …
    copy copy copy, this is chinese culture.

  17. SlimeTron5000 says:

    Money to survive …
    Money to survive is a problem.

  18. MrBiscuitTheChimp says:

    Ya, I always …
    Ya, I always thought the stigma against reproducing visual art is kind of arbitrary, while it’s okay for musicians to “interpret” existing compositions.

    I think back in the old days a lot of old masters got started by copying paintings. The practice sort of died out with modern art.

  19. TheOtel13 says:

    thats the curse of …
    thats the curse of economic system ..

  20. aristotele77 says:

    This is a work for …
    This is a work for them. Working on a other factory would be worse. I would pay 64$ for the Mona Lisa any day. Painter got 32$ only (1/2). Thousands of painters, more than 30million dollars in sales. Not bad.

  21. Cre8iveSignWorks says:

    they are very …
    they are very talented artists but i dont like what they are doing!
    but we can hardly blame them doing these copies because there is such a large market for them overseas….and also jobs and money can be very hard to get in china.

  22. muffdriver69 says:


  23. oceangust says:

    Well I can agree to …
    Well I can agree to you to an extent… but… China is a very hard place to live, and this might very well be the only job they will ‘slightly enjoy’. That’s better then making nikies in a shoe factory :l

  24. OhMymy says:

    So great musicians …
    So great musicians today who plays Chopin and Beethoven is ripping off Chopin and Beethoven? Why don’t you go tell those talented musicians to go make their own symphonies?
    And responding to your other comments, what makes you think that those artists only care about money? You can’t judge them

  25. onegoodman66 says:

    Chinese artists’ …
    Chinese artists’ works are getting more and more attention. Not long ago, a Chinese artist’s original painting was auctioned for over $10Million in NYC. These young artists are surely making a humble living by copying the famous. But I’m sure some of them will become famous in the future.