September 21, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

The Chinese artist had copied the work of this painter from Kluisbergen for thirty years, but had now failed

The Chinese artist had copied the work of this painter from Kluisbergen for thirty years, but had now failed

Belgian painter Christian Sylvain (72 years old) from Kluisbergen won a historical plagiarism case in China. A court in Beijing has ordered artist Yi Yongqing to pay €650,000 in compensation for copying Sylvain’s works for 30 years.

Martin Rabie

Yi Yongqing discovered the work of the Belgian artist at an exhibition in Paris at the end of the last century. He bought a catalog there and began copying it: up to 120 of Sylvain’s paintings were even outright plagiarized. Yi only fell from his pedestal in early 2019. His work is now worth nothing. On the other hand, sylvan art is finally getting the attention it deserves in China.

How do you feel about getting justice today?

“For the four years that this case has been going on, I thought nothing would ever come of it. I went through a lot of stress, but the lawyers always encouraged me that we would succeed. I am pleased that the result is the first of its kind for China. They have never convicted an artist “A Chinese man was accused of stealing the works of a foreign artist. So our lawsuit is making history.”

Does your case set a legal precedent for other artists?

“Absolutely. Rather, the ruling is written in a way that it can be used as a precedent. I also think that China wants to burnish its image in this way. They have an image of people who imitate and imitate everything. Now they are showing that this is not true in the art world, or at least they want that time to end.”

State newspaper China Daily She calculated that the plagiarism earned Ye Yongqing approximately $15 million at the time. Now he has been ordered to pay you “only” €650,000. Is that enough compared to the huge profits he made from your ideas?

“I suspect that those victories were not his alone. An artist could not have reached such large sums of money if he was alone. And there were some people behind him who also benefited. You can say that it is not much in comparison, but still: in China this is the highest amount ever made.” Pay it at all in such a situation.

What will you do with compensation?

“The money will be used to pay the salaries of all my employees and lawyers. I have two lawyers in China and two in the United States. There are also people who have provided money for the litigation, because anyone who starts a lawsuit in China must first pay large sums of money. Then I also have three collaborators, two “In Europe and a Chinese one, they worked for three years on this file, which still has a few thousand pages. So the money goes to all these people. I have no use for it and I don’t want any.”

Is there an increasing interest in your art and yourself in China?

“I’m not selling myself. I have an agent in Belgium and an agent in China who arrange it, but I know there are already original works in circulation in China. The market has stalled for me because everyone was waiting for the process to finish. They didn’t want to buy anymore. Now that’s good.” There are many museums that told me four years ago that they wanted to hold an exhibition if the outcome was positive. There also seem to be investors who bought a fair number of works four years ago, and are perhaps waiting for the outcome of this process. People expect that the prices for my works will then go out of range. Control, although that wasn’t my point.

What message would you like Chinese people to remember from your original work?

“I hope the Chinese look at my work with as much love as people here. I know the rest is commercial and there will be a lot of speculation, but I don’t really care. In this regard, I take an example from the late painter and friend Paul Delvaux, who is a bit like my godfather “I often react like him. This money doesn’t change anything for me. Tomorrow morning I will sit at my easel again. Paul had this attitude too. His walls sometimes contained paintings he found in a dump because he loved them. His works sold for 30 million Belgian francs, but “I thought that was absolutely ridiculous. It would be exactly the same for me.”

Have you received feedback from Chinese artists?

“Yes, I have received a lot of support from many artists from China. Mr. Yongqing was also a teacher at the Art High School. The reaction of all those people there was very shocking. Two years ago we were receiving up to a hundred sympathy emails Daily.

Are you going to China yourself soon?

“If there are big exhibitions, I will have to go to China, unfortunately. Very unfortunate, not because I don’t think it’s a beautiful country, but because I’m afraid of flying. (He laughs) I don’t want to think about it yet. “I continue to paint every day, rain or shine.”

See also  `` I've been going to concerts for 20 years, but I've never experienced this before.