Van Gogh on Demand: China and the Readymade

Product Details
University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
6.9 X 9.9 X 0.9 inches | 1.6 pounds

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About the Author
Winnie Wong is a junior fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. She lives in Cambridge, MA, and Shanghai.
"Based on a thoughtful reading of modern and contemporary art theory, lengthy fieldwork, and practical artistic and curatorial engagement with the world of Dafen artists, Van Gogh on Demand addresses some of the most demanding--and not easily resolved--issues of culture and production. Wong skillfully untangles the complicated skein of interconnections between the realms of traditional practice, contemporary Chinese art, mass-scale production, copying, and art circulation in the global marketplace. Compelling, fluent, and highly quotable, this book is a major contribution to the study of China, modernism, postmodernism, and globalization."-- "Geremie Barme, Australian National University"
"Winnie Won Yin Wong's Van Gogh on Demand: China and the Readymade not only overturns accounts of Dafen as a factory full of exploited assembly-line painters, but also unsettles contemporary art's unspoken hierarchies and topples modernist and postmodernist assumptions about originality, authenticity, and authorship. . .Wong's fluid movement between--and equally sophisticated discussions of--contemporary art, the social contexts of post-socialist urban China, popular culture, and state-controlled media pose a provocative model (or gao to use the word of Dafen) for art-historical research and viewing art amid globalization."-- "caa Reviews"
"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 to throw a fresh light on postmodern appropriation, quotation, and irony. These insights make this book both a persuasive piece of participant observation cultural anthropology and an original instance of contemporary art historical writing."-- "Terry Smith, University of Pittsburgh"
"Van Gogh on Demand shines. . . . [A] fantastically detailed exploration of a topic which touches the heart of many of the issues surrounding China's economic rise."-- "South China Morning Post"
"An impressive investigation."-- "Fine Art Connoiseur"
"A penetrating analysis of how the artistic theories of the Duchampian ready-made and their successors in conceptual art practice outside China can be applied to illuminate the history of these Chinese production processes which reciprocally bring the notion of ready-made into focus. . . . An important and valuable book, the first on a long-neglected subject."
-- "China Information"
"A fascinating blend of ethnography and art history."
-- "Art Practical"
"One of the most intriguing reads of the year. . . . "[Wong] has done extensive research and taken the conversation beyond the stereotypes being peddled in the media and even in some contemporary art projects." -- "Hyperallergic"
"Seamlessly weaving critical theories, empirical observations, and thorough awareness to the context, individual chapters in Van Gogh on Demand are tightly composed and thoroughly articulated."-- "Twentieth-Century China"