Production and marketing of art in China

  • Traveling the long, hard road from industrial art to high art
  • Ruby Roy Dholakia, Jingyi Duan, Nikhilesh Dholakia
  • Arts and the Market, May 2015, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/am-10-2013-0023

A small window into China's epic innovation struggle, including innovation in art

What is it about?

University of Rhode Island (URI) doctoral student Jingyi "Serena" Duan did some field research on the Wushipu art village in China, under the supervision of Prof. Ruby Roy Dholakia. She interviewed many gallery (shop) owners in Wushipu on the gradually changing nature of art in China - from industrial art ("copies of Western masters") to some original art. This paper evolved out of Serena's fieldwork at Wushipu.

Why is it important?

As authors, we were wondering how to communicate the changes observed at Wushipu and similar "art production centers" of China to a larger global audience. As we examined the issue around these changes, we came to realize they represented a slice of the larger phenomenon: the struggle by a fast-rising mega-China to be seen not just as a copying-and-making nation but as an innovator and producer of original works. This study provides an early, small window into this phenomenon -- which we believe is epic and will be long-playing through this century.


Dr Nikhilesh Dholakia
University of Rhode Island

I joined the project a bit later because the data (interviews, photos, observations) collected by Serena needed an interpretive lens. My contribution has been mainly to provide this lens, and to bring in some relevant art theory to bear upon the issues in this paper.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Nikhilesh Dholakia

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