Exhibition Chinese Copy Art

Portraits of Chinese copy art
by Michael Wolf

"Southern China is the world's leading center for mass-produced works of art. One village of artists exports about five million paintings every year -- most of them copies of famous masterpieces. The fastest workers can paint up to 30 paintings a day." - this is what the highly-influential German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel reported in its 23.8.2006 issue.

Indeed South China plays a role in the world of fake. While some approach the situation from a legal point of view by offering workshops on copyright etc. the Goethe-Institut Hongkong takes this from the cultural perspective: to copy a master is a deeply rooted tradition in the Asian learning process (though remaining at their mere copying stage is another story). Whether it's Richter or van Gogh, tell them which one you want to have copied and they will do.

German photographer Michael Wolf made portraits of the creators of Chinese copy art and their works. A selection of this series will be shown at the exhibition "Chinese Copy Art" at the Goethe-Gallery from April 20 to May 19, 2007.

Michael Wolf was born in München/ Munich, Germany. He studied at UC Berkeley and at the University of Essen in Germany. He has been living and working as a photographer and author in China for ten years. His last photo exhibition at the Goethe-Gallery "100 x 100", depicting residents in their flats in Hong Kong's oldest public housing estate (Shek Kip Mei Estate), was well received by the general public as well as students who started to develop an awareness of 'cultural heritage', one of the topics that the Goethe-Institut Hongkong engaged in last year.

Recent publications by Michael Wolf: Sitting in China (published by Steidl, 2002), China im Wandel (published by Frederking und Thaler, 2001). Taschen published his documentation of the shaping of public politics and opinion making comprising his extensive collection of Chinese propaganda posters (title: Chinese Propaganda Posters).

School tours available upon arrangement: kultur@hongkong.goethe.org