The painting featured was created in Dafen (大芬), China. The piece was painted by Yu Huang of WRIGLEY Oil Painting and commissioned by Sebastian Koseda.
60% of commercial oil paintings produced every year are made in the
village of Dafen, China. The Village is known as the ‘Oil Painting
Village’ and is inhabited by over 8,000 artists who specialise in
the making of large numbers of replica oil paintings by masters
such as Van Gogh, Dalí, da Vinci, Rembrandt and Warhol.
In 2015, Sebastian Koseda asked Yu Huang, an oil painting producer,
to send over an image of himself. Koseda then sent back the image
and requested that Mr. Huang paint it. The painting was then signed
by Mr. Huang with Koseda’s own signature.
This exercise subverts the production process that the service is intended
for and gives a face to an otherwise anonymous artist, the factory worker becomes the product he produces.
The painting can be viewed in two ways, shown in the captions below
(originally shown next to the piece).
The artist comments on the value of Chinese mass production in art. The
Chinese Artist Mr. Huang is embraced in a portrait of self-reflection.
Artwork Conceived and signed by the artist.
Mr. Huang, the prolific oil painting artist, masterfully captures his own
likeness in order to be exhibited as a shameless misinterpretation at the
Work In Progress show 2015. The client paid Mr. Huang to sign the painting
with the client’s own signature stripping him of ownership from the fin-
A form of creditable art or an example of common exploitation?
The piece aims to challenge themes of identity, authorship and ethics within the ever-increasing outsource culture in the contemporary art world.
‘You have to look at it as if the artist is an architect, and we don’t
have a problem that great architects don’t actually build the houses.’