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The Bao'an Labor Museum

This article was originally published on May 6, 2011, in the Shenzhen Daily.
The information was accurate at that time, and may be outdated now. Use with caution.

A statue in the courtyard of the Bao'an Labor Museum depicts Shenzhen's workers
On the bus to my regular visits to the smell Buddhist temple at Shiyan Lake, I have often seen a sign in Shiyan announcing the "Shenzhen (Baoan) Labor Museum." Finally, on this Labor Day weekend, I decided to jump off the bus and have a look.

And am I glad I did! Having never heard of the place (other than the sign), I was quite surprised to find just how significant this small museum is.

Exhibit showing equipment from Shenzhen's first modern factory floor
Just across the road, my guide told me, was the location of Shenzhen's first modern factory. And sure enough, some of the old equipment has been arranged into a display of that factory floor, dated 1978!

Other exhibits in the small front building showed factory lines from 1988 and 1996. The progress in equipment is clear.

A photo of factory girls in their room
Then, in the larger rear building, I saw impressive tributes to the spirit of Shenzhen's workers, and a glimpse into their lives. This hall displays about 800 pieces of the 3,000 the museum has collected to date.

Workers' safety equipment
I saw actual safety equipment and uniforms used by Shenzhen's many workers; pictures and artifacts showing the lives of the city's famous "factory girls"; and paintings, calligraphy, and statuary both of and by our workers.

If you have any connection to the working people of Shenzhen (and who doesn't?) it's worth a trip out to Shiyan. Take the 392 from the underground at Windows of the World Metro Station; get off at Shiyan Bus Terminal (石岩汽车站). Walk back a little, turn left, and where the downhill street comes out, turn right and watch for the sign; it's less than 5 minutes' walk.

Factory girls in a detail of a large bas relief of workers
GPS Info:
  • 22.684796, 113.932439


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