Hong Kong pirates taste in art?


Why is this man trying to block my photo?

I was walking through Temple Street Night Market tonight, a spot known for souvenirs and knock-offs, when I noticed something new. As I passed by a stall that normally sells copies of posters from old Shanghai and canvases by Mainland artist Yue Minjun, I saw a different artist on display.

Hanging amidst signs that read “No Photos” were multiple reproductions of Banksy’s artwork! After walking a few steps past the stall, I decided it was Hustle-worthy, so I turned around and pulled out my camera.

The stall attendee must be used to this happening, because just as I started taking photos, the man came running up trying to block my picture…

These days it’s possible to get nearly anything copied. If you can furnish a sample, someone can make you a reproduction. Imitations aren’t simply limited to watches, clothing, and handbags, but also include things like furniture, hair care products and now even trendy “street” art!

In some ways the reproductions are a compliment – pirates do not gamble on inventory, they only copy things that will sell! On the other hand, it’s unfortunate that the artist isn’t compensated for his creations.

One could argue that this a sign that Banksy’s work has gone mainstream. Having his art included in books and attracting celebrity collectors is one thing, but being able to move pieces on the street is another.

What’s interesting to me is that in Hong Kong, bankers and pirates seem to share the same taste in art! 😉


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