“…artistic activity always exists within a specific mode of production and that it reproduces it. – or more exactly, that it produces it and contests it, that it suffers it and destroys it. Artistic activity is a mode- a singular form- of labour power” ( Art and Immaterial Labour _Antonio Negri )
In the days when a vintage pastel painting can mark $119.9m in an auction, paintings are the ultimate investment product of the capitalistic market economy. Now after 20 years since its birth, Dafen ‘Oil Painting’ Village continues the production of oil painting of replicas of famous artworks and cheap souvenirs for decorations mass produced by the "migrant painter-workers".
Since the global economical crisis of the 2008, the demand of cheap paintings has fallen dramatically and the village has lost its vibrancy of the early 2000s.The system of production has shifted from fordist to post-fordist, and no "mass-factory rooms" are to be found easily in the village today.
The village regains its productivity by the installment of the ‘Factory of Alternative Values’, a research-lab / factory of art forgery, which structural system of bamboo scaffolding transforms according to the movements of the market price of annual auction turnovers.
As the Radical Architects in the Italy in the 70s ironically drew out some dystopic imageries through their “back-to-front utopias” (Andrea Branzi) , the "radicalized" version of the current day utopias which flips its significance through its extension to the extreme, same subversive critique emerge with this factory as a system of production of alternative values.
Through the production of art forgeries of the highest market values and the system of production strictly obeying to that of the market, the factory begins to unfold alternative values amongst the already confused contemporary art market.