‘MADE IN CHINA’ REPLICA ON DISPLAY AT DULWICH
(to April 26th 2015)
Visitors to Dulwich Picture Gallery are being set the challenge to identify a Chinese replica hanging among the 270 Old Master paintings on display. ‘Made in China: A Doug Fishbone Project’ explores the nature and importance of the original versus the copy and the role of art as commodity, a subject of increasing importance in our age of global mass production.
Conceived by artist Doug Fishbone and curated by Dr Xavier Bray, Arturo and Holly Melosi Chief Curator at the Gallery, Dulwich has temporarily removed one of its paintings from the frame, replacing it with a replica commissioned by Fishbone and produced by one of China’s numerous exporters of handmade oil paintings.
Until 26 April the public are being invited to identify the replicated painting and have the opportunity to submit their answers via an iPad in the gallery.
Those with the correct answer will be entered into a competition to win a custom print from the Gallery’s collection, signed by Fishbone.
The replica will be revealed on 28 April 2015 when it will hang side by side with the original.
Visitors will be invited to return to compare and contrast. How does the brushwork differ? How has the varnished aged on the original? How has the Chinese artist interpreted the style of painting of an Old Master?
“Hanging a replica will make visitors to Dulwich question their own judgement” said Doug Fishbone.
“We wanted to remove any possibility of clues, to give the replica a chance to stand on its own merits. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a specialist curator spots it- I should hope they would!.
“But I think it’s good enough to trick people and that’s exciting – more importantly a hidden copy puts everything open to suspicion and by the same token makes everything subject to more scrutiny. “In this sense it’s a project about focus, attention even mindfulness.”