When I started the business of oil painting during the period of 2003-2004, I used to go to the photo shop to develop a big stacks of photos. Those photos will go to different studios and it was a common scene when you walked into China's street and found an artist was mimicking a picture to painting while looking at the photo constantly. An artist, with his/her skill, was actually an enlarging machine of photo to painting. This job, by comparing to the ones of manufacturing in factories, no doubt requires much more skills. 

Most early artists of this army of reproduction of painting or enlarging photo to oil painting, or sometimes to watercolor, pencil, gouache paintings, felt bored in day after day's repeated labor and sought to tweak different photographs and paint them into different styles of paintings. Some were smart enough to start creating from their own but most artists are still painting based on photographes and not able to break out of cocoon and become a real butterfly.

While, this group, still maintains to be the army of reproducing painting from picture of original art work or picture of digital file, and sustaining the industry of replica arts.

SB_07_China_Dafen-00030-e1395185437944

James Liu 

June 24, 2014