La manía china de copiarlo todo no necesariamente es una muestra de mediocridad inventiva sino que también puede ser un rasgo cultural muy propio:

But as Bosker documents, this craze for duplication isn’t just creative laziness or a willful disregard of intellectual property rights. It grows out of old and venerable Chinese aesthetic traditions, in which copying is valued not only as a learning tool (as it is in the West) but as artistically satisfying in its own right. As early as the fifth century, a Chinese art scholar wrote approvingly about the power of a copy to capture the spirit of an original. A good copy was like “a wild goose that flies along with its companion,” as one scholar explained. Replicating a preexisting work was a way to display one’s technical virtuosity—and, crucially, to imbibe the best foreign design concepts. As the scholar Wen Fong notes, even outright art forgery in China “has never carried such dark connotations as it does in the West.”

Duplitecture is an offshoot of this tradition. It’s quite old: In the third century BC, Qin Shihuangdi conquered six holdout kingdoms and, as a marker of his triumph, created mini-scale versions of the palaces from each. “People in the US look at copies of these buildings and go, ‘How unoriginal!’” Bosker says. “But in China they go, ‘Isn’t this awesome? Look what we’ve done! We made the Eiffel Tower!’”

Este comportamiento debe de haber sido muy natural en sociedades previas a la aparición de la imprenta, del mercado cultural y de la idea de autoría. La copia o imitación como una forma de consumo y recreo cultural está todavía presente en todos nosotros, desde los niños que aprenden a dibujar retratando a sus personajes favoritos hasta los músicos que empiezan haciendo covers.

Wired: Imitation Can Be the Sincerest Form of Innovation por Clive Thompson

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