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Photographer gets a shock seeing an imitation copy of his own work on sale for $6k at art exhibition

Coconuts logo Coconuts 15/6/2016
tiger: Yingying Cai's 'pirated' copy of the original photograph. Photo: Vin Psk Facebook page © Coconuts Media Yingying Cai's 'pirated' copy of the original photograph. Photo: Vin Psk Facebook page

After a couple of months trying to settle matters quietly, photographer Vin Psk went public with the issue of blatant duplication of his own work. Apparently, an image of his — a gorgeous one of a resting white tiger — got reproduced as a pencil artwork and was even being auctioned off at Singapore's first large-scale wildlife art exhibition. The value of the pirated copy? $6,000. And none of it was going back to Vin. Vin PSK's original photograph. Photo: Vin Psk Facebook pageThe veteran wildlife photographer received a shock last November seeing a picture of his appearing on a Yahoo News report about the exhibition, despite not having participating in it. Some young artist from the Nanyang Fine Art Academy in Singapore called Yingying Cai had reproduced the image without his permission and organised that very exhibition as the co-founder of Mandala WildLife Arts. Appalled, Vin tried to check out the exhibition personally, but was refused entry as it was reserved for auction and could only be viewed by invitation. Pretending to be an interested buyer, he met up with another Mandala Wildlife Arts representative by the name of Rayan and managed to view he artwork in their gallery. "OMY, the artwork was 100% duplicate on my picture, shade and shadow, fur patterns and even the position of the hair on its face are similar to my picture. (And she called herself an artist?)", Vin wrote in a his now viral Facebook post. Multiple attempts to reach both Ying Cai and Rayan failed to garner any response, until Vin eventually revealed his identity and intentions. Rayan then had the gall to offer the original artist $500 for duplicating his image. Seriously? $500? Following even more months of silence (Ying Cai even took down her Facebook page), Vin had enough of it all and went public with the matter on social media. "I believe many of my fb friends (there are mostly photographer or photography lovers) having at least once, their hard work being stolen and keep quite or can’t do anything," he wrote. We've reached out to Mandala Wildlife Arts and await their response. 

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