Like Otis Kaye and J.S.G. Boggs before him, a young artist in China has turned his attention to Banknotes, in turn drawing attention from local authorities.
Handcrafted US banknotes drawn by a young Chinese man were so much like the real thing that he was questioned by police over suspected counterfeiting in an episode that has seen him attract more than a million followers on mainland social media.
Shi Yunlong, 30, has been posting videos on Douyin of himself drawing 1996 and 2013 US$100 bills at his home since September 2021.
The greenback artist from south China's Guangdong province began with hand drawings and later experimented with security features such as intaglio printing and invisible ink watermarks.
For US$100 bills bearing the face of Benjamin Franklin, Shi made three copper plates in November to make his work look as genuine as possible.
He also drew inspiration from the 2018 Hong Kong crime thriller Project Gutenberg, directed by Felix Chong Man-keung, which starred Chow Yun-fat and Aaron Kwok and featured the step-by-step counterfeiting of US dollars.
Shi also crafts banknotes from other countries, such as the £50 note and the 100 trillion dollar Zimbabwe bill, to entertain his followers.
At the height of the Qatar World Cup frenzy, Shi also made a ticket for the World Cup final and a flight ticket from Hong Kong to Doha.
A group of officers visited Shi's home in December to make sure he was not actually making counterfeit notes.
After Shi reassured them that he only painted one-sided notes, the officers let him off with a warning
not to draw Renminbi and Hong Kong dollar banknotes.
Shi had repeatedly stated many times in his Douyin videos that the results of his work cannot be spent.
A graduate from the Environmental Design major at Liaoning Finance and Trade College, Shi worked as a garden landscape planner and flight attendant, before focusing on his painting career after his videos went viral.
I'm interested in painting instead of making a fast buck. Drawing banknotes is my way to practise basic skills, and my goal is to paint more original works in the future, Shi told Jiupai News.
To read the complete article, see:
Artful forger: artist who draws ‘real-life' US banknotes for fun gets visit from China's anti-fake police and more than a million online followers
Wayne Homren, Editor
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