Thomas Friedman tells us in his column today about the art village of Dafen, and how it has been affected by the housing collapse in the US:

I had no idea that many of those oil paintings that hang in hotel rooms and starter homes across America are actually produced by just one Chinese village, Dafen, north of Hong Kong. And I had no idea that Dafen's artist colony -- the world's leading center for mass-produced artwork and knockoffs of masterpieces -- had been devastated by the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble. I should have, though.

True to the Atlantic's motto -- "this year's news, last year!" -- our own readers knew all about Dafen exactly 12 months ago, for example here, here, and here, plus a very good Feb, 2007 Chicago Tribune story by Evan Osnos here. The "village," by the way, would be considered a real city any place but China. Here is one of my favorite artists there, responsible for much of the varied work around him (many more pics at the links above):

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/DSCN0048A.jpg

No larger point here, just glad to see Dafen make the big time. It's also an interesting counterpoint to Adam Minter's recent observations about the changing ecology of the news.

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