China’s art market has been booming in recent years. Several Chinese artists frequently appear on the list of best-selling artists worldwide. The painting above is by Qi Baishi.
One can learn a lot about a country’s culture by examining its art. In China, there is a profound reverence for the past. Unfortunately, this desire to imitate has contributed to an increase in forgeries.
But a New York Times investigation found that many of the documented transactions never occurred. Furthermore, the market is saturated with forgeries. Resale is a major priority for buyers, many of whom purchase with the sole intent of reselling the work for a profit.
For example, studies show that while American parents teach children to think outside the box at an early age, Chinese children first learn to master the traditional method.
In Chinese art, the traditional style refers to depictions of natural beauty paired with calligraphy. This is not to say that Chinese culture encourages plagiarism. Rather, China values tradition and paying homage to the past.
Art students participate in lin mo, which means “imitating the masters.”