A new selfie theme park in Indonesia attracts visitors by presenting them with the most Instagrammable settings possible. The problem is, it turns out that many of these backdrops are plagiarised versions of famous artworks.
Outrage has ensued over attractions at the Rabbit Town amusement park after their immersive, selfie-inspiring installations were called out as copies.
Diet Prada, an Instagram account lauded by fans for blowing the whistle on fakes in fashion, has outed the Bandung-based park for their shady installations, which are blatant knock-offs of work by Chris Burden, Yayoi Kusama and the Museum of Ice Cream.
Rabbit Town, which boasts the slogan ‘The Way to More Happiness,’ opened in January 2018 and presents itself as a family-friendly destination complete with petting zoo and a number of art installations.
The park’s star attraction, however, is ‘Love Light,’ which is a carbon copy of Chris Burden’s street lamp installation, ‘Urban Light’ that calls the esplanade of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art home. Notice the subtle one-word difference in the artworks titles. It’s really quite shocking.
Diet Prada observed this anomaly and immediately made their thoughts known to the world. Their caption reads, ‘Hey @rabbittown.id … it’s cool you wanna bring some LA flavor to Indonesia, but blocking the people tagging @lacma in the comments doesn’t really go with chill West coast vibes… Chris Burden’s ‘Urban Lights’ installation is pretty iconic lol.’
Since the call-out, Rabbit Town has at least temporarily disabled the comments section of their own Insta, after an onslaught of negative feedback came down on their page.
But the company’s plagiarism of iconic contemporary art doesn’t stop with ‘Urban Light.’ The park also presents a copy of ultra-grammable ‘The Obliteration Room’ by Queen of Polkadots, Yayoi Kusama.
The imposter version at the park is known as ‘Love Lock’ and, just like its legitimate parent, it features an all white room that visitors are invited to decorate with multi-coloured dot stickers.
Yayoi Kusama is an artist who’s work does notoriously well on social media, so it’s no surprise the Rabbit Town designers added her to their copy canon. Similarly, they also forged various rooms from the travelling Museum Of Ice Cream, another Instagram fave, and didn’t even bother to make up their own name for it, blatantly calling their version the Museum of Ice Cream as well.
The world of art news is consistently full with artists being ripped off for their ideas. In November of 2017 for example, Marc Jacobs was sued for copyright infringement after stealing motifs from contemporary pop artist, Katie Thierjung. Normally however, it is more emerging artists such as Katie who bear the brunt of this unfortunate trend, as opposed to big-name artists like Burden and Kusama. Perhaps with the spotlight on two powerhouse names such as theirs, the creative world will begin to push harder for transparency and originality. Indonesia may be far away from anywhere these artists show currently their work, but distance means nothing in the age of social media, and now companies have nowhere to hide.
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