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Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

China is famous for making fake stuff – Gucci belts, iphones, or DVDs. ‘ShanZhai’ is the local word ...

China is famous for making fake stuff – Gucci belts, iphones, or DVDs. ‘ShanZhai’ is the local word for them. This lack of care for intellectual property may be partly what makes China so dynamic: in the age of the internet, to not care about copyright gives a real competitive advantage.

In the Western canon, Plato’s Republic is the key reference to understand the relationship between original and copies. In this text – both in the myth of the cavern and, later, in the analysis of art as copy, a hierarchy is established between the essence of the thing, the thing as it exists in the world, and its copies, reflections, or shadows. Benjamin re-articulates this hierarchy when studying artworks in the age of mass production: for him, as for Plato, copying leads to a dilution of substance, a loss of aura.

If everything changes all the time, nothing is substantial. Maybe China does not believe in unchanging truths and essences.
Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar

Chinese Products That Look Oddly Familiar


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