AXA Direct (AXA 다이렉트) Plagiarizes Chinese Artist Liu Bolin (刘勃麟)?


I don’t often post Chinese art on this blog, but still: there needs to be more acknowledgment of AXA Direct’s (AXA 다이렉트) debt to Chinese artist Liu Bolin for their recent ad. Hell, it even has old-style British telephone boxes too:

Note though, that while Korea has a deserved reputation for plagiarism, AXA is actually a French company.

Update: see here for the making-of an upcoming female version of the ad, and this next picture probably gives a much better impression of Liu Bolin’s skills:



7 thoughts on “AXA Direct (AXA 다이렉트) Plagiarizes Chinese Artist Liu Bolin (刘勃麟)?

    1. Hi James,

      I’m a bit speechless but not all surprised a CF has completely appropriated Liu Bolin’s artwork. This brings to mind an article about a KA Harvard law prof, Jeannie Suk, who’s advocating a patent system for fashion designers. I find the notion a bit far-fetched, but why can’t designers and ground breaking artists for that matter, find some measure of protection from commercial copycats?


      1. I hear you. But to play Devil’s advocate for AXA, I’m sure that this – for want of a better term – “urban camouflage” concept has been done many times before, that it’s a little broad for Liu Bolin or anyone to patent, and that, technically speaking, nothing in the ads are a direct copy of any of his artworks. Still, there should definitely be an acknowledgment that the ads were at least inspired by him (the timing is too coincidental for them not to be), but unfortunately I didn’t see any mention of his name in a newspaper article on the ads that by genuine(!) coincidence I read in a doctor’s waiting room just a couple of hours ago.


  1. (Not related to the above post)

    I have been visiting this blog for a while and from time to time, go through your archives for articles I have definitely missed. I came across “Korean Sociological Image #18: Sexualizing Caucasian Women” and I would like to ask if you can do a post on Korean Sociological Image and the women of colour residing within the country.
    I am very interested in both your personal take and whatever research you can collate.

    PS: love this blog



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