Art-Copying Sweatshops (轉)


artsweatshop.jpgWhere starving artists work: Fulham Palace examines Chinese art-copying sweatshops.

While much is made of the astonishing economic growth of the Chinese economy, many millions of ordinary Chinese people still live in poverty.

2007_3425.jpgAn exhibition at the Gallery in Fulham Palace, London, is focusing on a shocking form of sweatshop labour in southern China which helps fuel the western demand for cheap art.

Dafen is a small suburb of the city of Shenzhen, which has developed a reputation as an art village’, where thousands of artists go from all over the country to find work in factories, churning out copies of western masterpieces for export to Europe and North America.

Many of the Dafen artists are Chinese art college graduates who work in the picture factories there for up to 16 hours a day. They usually get paid around 20 pence per painting and may have to produce anything up to 30 pieces a day to make a living wage to support their families.

The artists work in temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius and often sleep above the factory floor to reduce living expenses.

Their works are exported en masse with some being sold for hundreds of pounds. American retail giant WalMart recently commissioned more than 50,000 paintings from Dafen. Link


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