6 July 2004
Hong Kong Gifts, Premiums and Stationery
From Fond Art Products Co come these framed, 8x10 inch, oil-on-canvas paintings that sell mainly to the US and Europe
Teams of talented Chinese artists strive to create extremely good reproductions of famous paintings, many of which are being sold to international dealers. Most of these artists are fine arts graduates employed by Hong Kong companies to copy the works of great masters like Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh and Vermeer.
"The quality of our paintings is high, which enables us to sell to art dealers and galleries in Europe and the US," says Choi Yin Fung, director Choi Yin Fong Art Gallery.
Choi is an artist himself, and employs between 250 and 300 painters in his studio on the Chinese mainland. "My team are all graduates of art schools," he says. "Most are from the mainland, but some are from Hong Kong."
Each artist is specially chosen for his/her particular expertise, technique or talent in copying. "Not all artists can copy satisfactorily, it is a highly skilled craft," says Choi. "The mainland has developed a reputation for producing copies almost indistinguishable from the originals."
Founded in 1981, Choi's gallery supplies oil paintings on canvas and wood panels. "Our monthly production is fairly small because each piece is meticulously painted by hand," he says. "We have a constant demand from notable art galleries and dealers who appreciate the quality of what we do."
The minimum order size is one, 8x10 inch oil on a wood panel. Delivery takes 30-60 days. "While some customers do order one painting, others order up to 1,000 at a time," says Choi. "However, we cannot quote prices because they vary enormously with the subject of the painting, its complexity and the work involved, but we are very competitive."
The wood for the panels comes from the mainland and the canvas from Korea, Italy and Belgium.
A new line of computerised tapestry art has been introduced by Capital Access (HK) Ltd, which was first to develop a method of creating full colour designs that can be transferred to automatic weaving machines to produce Jacquard woven pictures.
"We developed the computer software that can automatically convert colour pictures into inputs for weaving machines," says managing director Chan Ngan Hoi. "The six-colour woven fabric can then be used for wall pictures, cushion covers and handbags and so on. Jacquard weaving is usually expensive, but we keep prices extremely competitive by the use of the software."
Founded in 2002, when the computer software was first developed, the company is able to produce 50,000 tapestry pictures a month at its 7,000-square-foot factory in Shanghai.
There is no minimum order and delivery is 4-8 weeks after confirmation. "We have 40 designs available, but we can also reproduce custom designs," says Chan.
Also sold under the Capital brand name, the tapestries comprise polyester yarn sourced in Hong Kong and on the mainland. Unit prices, FOB Hong Kong, are US$0.20 per inch for 8-inch fixed-width weaves and US$0.39 per inch for 16-inch width woven pictures.
Worldlink Trading Ltd holds the licence to make attractive hand-painted floral wall plaques designed by famous US designer Cheri Blum.
The gold-edged plaques depicting exquisite flower arrangements make top-selling gift items. "We are also one of the few companies specialising in classic, framed watercolours," says sales manager Patrick Kwan. "Our customers can choose from many different styles. We sell pictures framed or unframed and will also sell the frames separately," he adds.
Production takes place at Wordlink's 10,000-square-foot factory in Zhongshan on the Chinese mainland, where some 50 members of the 200-strong workforce are artists. A minimum order is one TEU and delivery is promised within 60 days. Unit prices of the Cheri Blum wall plaques start at US$3, FOB Shenzhen.
United Asia Art Co employs 200 artists full-time to produce its oil paintings. According to marketing manager Carol Yeung, these are "the best-qualified people, and they earn very good money. Most are arts graduates from colleges all over the mainland".
The company supplies hand-painted oils on canvas with wooden panels. "We have supplied leading art galleries and chain stores in France since 1982, and we also supply a major department store in Japan. We are also the contracted reproduction company for a renowned artist in Greece," she adds.
"We were the only oil painting company chosen to represent Hong Kong products at the Entomos 2000 exhibition in Santiago, Chile," she claims.
The company supplies copies of old masters, as well as modern paintings and also produces commercial subjects like scenic pictures for gift shops.
Monthly production is 30,000 pieces of each model, and FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$20-300. There is no minimum order requirement.
Hong Kong is definitely in the picture when it comes to paintings.
WRITTEN BY WINSOME LANE
Hui's Art Oil Painting Gallery
Nan Fung Centre
264-298 Castle Peak Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Rms B & C, 14/F
Bing Fu Commercial Bldg
450-454 Portland St
Prince Edward, Kowloon
Worldlink Trading Ltd
Unit 12, 17/F
Vanta Ind Centre
21-33 Tai Lin Pai Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
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