Because I can't help it, a few more pictures below and after the jump of the "art factory village" of Dafen, outside Shenzhen. All are clickable for larger version.
Plus, two updates: First, thanks to Evan Osnos of the Chicago Tribune for getting his story about Dafen back on line, here. It explains some of the business fundamentals of the place.
And, from Keith Snodgrass of the South Asia Center at the Jackson school at the University of Washington, this background of the Dafens of yesteryear:
[You give] somewhat the impression this is a new activity. As a matter of fact, Chinese artists have supplied mass production art for western markets for at least 200 years. Many early 19th century paintings of George Washington circulated in the US were originally produced in southern China, as were many of the "ship portraits", paintings which look like 2-3 ships at sail in a bay, but which are actually 2-3 different views of the same ship.
Ajay Sinha at Mt. Holyoke college gave a talk on this topic at the University of Washington in 2004. You can find him through http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/misc/profile/asinha.shtml
Pick your genre:
Mr. China shops for art:
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