2006 Photo Contest, Arts and Entertainment, 2nd prize

Haibo Yu

Shenzhen Economic Daily

19 May, 2005

Zhao Xiaoyong, a painter from a village in Jiangxi province. He has been specializing in copying the works of Vincent van Gogh since 1996.

Dafen oil-painting village is the largest painting workshop in China. Over 8,000 artists produce some five million works a year for export, copying classical masterpieces by the likes of Van Gogh, Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso and Rafael. The first painting factory in Dafen was started by a printer from Hong Kong in 1986. Favorable transport and communication links, as well as low labor costs, led to rapid international success, and there are now around 300 similar factories in the village. The painters come from regions all over China, many of them young peasants with ambitions to earn their living from art.

About the photographer

Haibo Yu

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