Preview: “Made in China” Group Show at Ian Ross Gallery

by Roxanne GoldbergPosted on

Jessica Hess’s orignal work and its factory reproduction

Many of us can remember growing up with reproductions of masterpieces in our homes. Whether it’s Monet’s water lilies or Andrew Wyeth’s Christina World, most people are introduced to artworks at a young age through home decoration. San Francisco-based Ian Ross Gallery is exploring this notion through the lens of the Western world’s reliance on Chinese factory goods with the group exhibition, “Made in China,” curated by Loakal Gallery.

Twelve contemporary artists — including D Young V, Jessica Hess, Shark Toof, Robert Bowen, Eddie Colla and Ernesto Yerena, to name a few — were invited to create original paintings, photograph and send the digital images to a factory in China, where factory artists who typically produced faux masterworks reproduced the works and sent them back to the United States. The originals and their factory “counterfeits” will hang side-by-side in “Made in China,” which opens November 8.

The image of a puffy faced man with disheveled hair, blood-red nose and hooded eyelids is next to a grinning Asian man, rendered in black and white, and wearing a tall black cap. This double-portrait by C Kirk is displayed next to an identical painting. The two look identical from afar, but when approached, nuances in the texture, cracks in the paint, deeper, richer colors and other subtle details emerge and become quite obvious in one of the works—that assumed to be the original. The paintings are a lesson in looking, but perhaps more significantly, they challenge the viewer’s notion of what is real.


D Young V’s original work and its factory reproduction

Robert Bowen’s original work and its factory reproduction


Ian Ross’s original work and its factory reproduction


C Kirk’s original work and its factory reproduction


A gallery of reproductions of paintings in the Chinese factory


A warehouse that stores reproductions of paintings in the Chinese factory

The reproduction of Eddie Colla’s work in progress at the factory

The reproduction of D Young V’s work in progress

An artist from the Chinese factory poses with a reproduction of D Young V’s work


An artist from the Chinese factory poses with a reproduction of Eddie Colla’s work