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Dafen Oil Painting Village

This article was originally published on June 28, 2010, in the Shenzhen Daily.
The information was accurate at that time, and may be outdated now. Use with caution.

An open-air exhibition of paintings
On the northern edge of Luohu, near the road to Longgang Town, lies a village unique in all the world.

Dafen Oil Painting Village in Buji has thousands of painters and hundreds of workshops, and claims that it is to oil painting what McDonald's is to fast food.

Dafen Village
A stroll through the village is like an education in art. You can see European Old Masters, the Impressionists and Cubists, and portraits of world leaders.

A bust of Leonardo da Vinci in front of the village
There are Buddhist images (including hand-painted scrolls), wildlife and forest scenes, and ethnic peoples from China and the rest of the world.

Chinese artists ancient and modern are also represented, including Yue Minjun and Qi Baishi.

Some shops in the village
Did I mention? All of the above are hand-painted reproductions, done on a sort of "assembly line," and available for a fraction of the originals. Smaller canvases sell for as little as 100rmb.

Head into some of the more exclusive galleries, though, and you'll find originals by contemporary Chinese artists at (ahem) somewhat higher prices.

An artist teproduces a photograph
You can even bring a photo and have it reproduced in oils.

Though famed as an "oil painting village" (you know, like a "fishing village" or a "farming village"), Dafen also has calligraphy, sculpture, and other media.

Entrance to the village
On the west side of the village (near the highway) there are fast food and other restaurants for the weary shopper. Bars, coffee shops, and hotels are springing up around the village, too.

Take bus 373 from Shekou, 398 from outside Huizhan Zhongxin Metro Station, or numerous other buses.

GPS Info:
  • 22.60933, 114.13616


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