Tuesday, 9 October 2018

China's Van Goghs

Hey, a documentary as part of the Film Society. This one is China's Van Goghs.

So Van Gogh was quite the painter, yeah? And people like to have copies of his paintings for themselves. In particular, in the same oil on canvas way. You can't print that (yet). So who creates them? In the Defan area of China, there are lots of people who spend ages of times cranking out many copies of Van Goghs and other famous people. We meet some of them, and see them going through the arduous process of creating them. We also follow some to Amsterdam where they meet their client (a not entirely wonderful souvenir stall), see the original paintings, and visit some famous Van Gogh locations.

When they say "made in China", you don't quite think of the process behind it, but for these paintings there is no simple way of creating an oil painting other than painting with the oils. The whole town is dedicated to this venture, which means there are many people who paint other people's pictures for, in the main lead's case, 20 years. And only now, at the end of the film, do we get to see them try some original work themselves.

On the one hand, it's quite a niche area they've got. But I do wonder how fulfilling it is.

It did rekindle my interest in documentaries, so I'll be checking out some more soon.


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