The Asian is comprised of Heather Straka’s original oil painting of a Shanghai poster-girl from the 1920-30s, along with 50 identical images of the same woman produced by 50 artists working in the Dafen Oil Painting Village in the Longang District of Shenzhuen, in southern China.
The copy artists have each signed their version of Straka’s Asian Girl painting.
The Asian questions the significance of the original versus the copy.
Straka herself has appropriated aspects of the original poster girl, who at the time epitomised the newly emancipated Asian glamour girl of the Chinese middle class in the early 20th century.
Straka then took her painting to China for the artists to copy, each artist adding their own interpretation to their work.