[UCP Books]: Van Gogh on Demand

“Vividly describing a place that is amazing to learn about and fascinating as a story, Van Gogh on Demand is so engagingly written that we are drawn from chapter to chapter in a state of increasing interest that often turns to excitement. Wong tells us much not only about the highly specific kind of artistic production that prevails at Dafen, but also about the international art world and the role of Dafen in the kind of contemporary modernity that China is striving to construct. The convergence of these different worlds is thoroughly and brilliantly shown.”–Terry Smith, University of Pittsburgh

 

Van Gogh on Demand 

China and the Readymade
Winnie Won Yin Wong
 
US Publication Date: April 15, 2014 ISBN-13: 978-0-226-02489-9
UK Publication Date: April 21, 2014 Cloth $35.00/£24.50

 
In southern China lies Dafen, an urban village that houses thousands of workers who paint van Goghs, Da Vincis, Warhols, and other Western masterpieces for the global market, producing an astonishing five million paintings a year. Winnie Won Yin Wong infiltrated this world by first investigating the work of contemporary artists who made their projects there, then working as a dealer, apprenticing as a painter, surveying wholesalers and retailers in Europe, East Asia, and North America, and finally establishing relationships with local officials and initiating an art exhibition for the Shanghai World Expo. The result is Van Gogh on Demand, a book about one infamous corner of the global art world that is nevertheless deeply connected to its highest ideals. Wong takes up questions of imitation, innovation and appropriation; unravels the definition of art, the making of the artist, and the ownership of the image; and describes an art world in which migrant workers, propagandists, dealers, and contemporary artists make up a global supply chain of creativity.


Winnie Won Yin Wong is assistant professor in the Department of Rhetoric at University of California, Berkeley. She is available for interviews. Please contact Carrie Olivia Adams at (773) 702-4216 or cadams@press.uchicago.edu

 

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