Van Gogh on Demand: An Interview

Reading Winnie Wong’s new book on image production in Dafen village will likely change the way you think about copying, China, and the relationship between them. Based on fieldwork that included artist interviews, studio visits, and participant observation alongside local officials, bosses, interpreters, foreign artists, buyers, and traders, Van Gogh on Demand: China and the Readymade (University of Chicago Press, 2014) takes readers into the production of images in a village in Shenzhen. After establishing what we’re talking about when we talk about “copying” and “copies” in this context, Wong guides us through a series of media and spaces that collectively upend several assumptions that are often brought to understanding Dafen and its painters specifically, and copying and creativity in China more broadly. We recently spoke about it for the New Books in EAS podcast, and you can listen to that conversation by heading over here.