There was a lot of online debate over blatant forgery happening in China's architecture. It was noticed that a building being created in the Western Chinese city of Chongqing looked exactly like a shopping center located in Beijing. The center happened to be built by Zaha Hadid, an architect everyone in the scene knows. You can see both above. In the words of a recent hero, that takes some serious testicles bro.
More examples were found. In fact, it was discovered that there are whole replica communities that are being constructed. Hallstatt in Austria, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, Christ the Redeemer, and soon even Manhattan. Really?
The matter has not been resolved, but that hasn't stopped people talking online about counterfeiting in China. With the examples of fake iPads and other gadgets, there was much discussion about intellectual property rights. In the video below you can see the constructions have caused controversy.
Artists Sebastian Acker and Phil Thompson travelled through China and documented these cases of "copy towns." What they discovered was that rather than being fake constructions, people were actually living in these villages. Sure New York has Times Square and Florida has Disney World but these areas in China are residential. People live in these structures.
There are a few reasons this has happened. It's clear that it isn't one person's doing, rather a culmination of a lot of events. One is that a class of people in China has become very rich very fast and they want a way to show their wealth. They have adopted Western ways of showing their riches (go figure).
Another reason is that a lot of new buildings are being built in China to attract residents. In order to make places more appealing, architects have adopted replicas of familiar places. Oddly enough, their unoriginality is unique. However there is a history of copying architecture. Emperors of the past made copies of lands that had been conquered as a way of demonstrating power.
Well, Manhattan has a Chinatown. China will now have a Manhattan.