Dafen Village Shenzhen

Need an oil painting? Heres the perfect place to find one amongst what is an ‘Oil Painting Village’, artists live and work pumping out all sorts of original pieces and the odd replica. How many artists? No one seems exactly sure but many say there could be a staggering 10,000 artists and nearly 1000 galleries operating within this very special enclave.

 The figures are sketchy but claims are made that this village is responsible for something like 60-70% of the worlds oil painting production.

It all kicked off back in the late 80’s and 90’s when Huang Jiang came over from Hong Kong and set up a studio training a few students and selling some works. To cut a long story short, his ideas and methods led to a booming business which others followed. The local government saw the potential and helped develop the area, more and more artists came leading to the massive pseudo art factory that it is today.

The place is very visitor friendly with cafes, and relaxed streets to stroll around and admire the very open galleries.

There’s all kinds of paintings available including portraits of famous western celebs, politicians including Obama, Bush, Clinton, Hu Jintao along with massive landscape portraits, actually whatever type of painting you’re after is going to be here and if you can’t see it, just bring a picture and someone will soon bring a blank canvas to life with whatever you want.

The village, which has a giant sculpture at its entrance, is where most of the action is, but across the road there are quite a few interesting galleries too.

Where? Corner of ShenHui HWY and Busha Rd, Longgang, Shenzhen. About 20 minutes from Luohu in a taxi which is maybe 50-60 RMB or 40 minutes on a bus for 5 RMB (we went on bus 300 from Luohu station). You can also take the metro line 3 to Dafen Station and head south out exit A1.

There’s not a lot of great accommodation options around Dafen, I would choose one of the hotels in the Dongmen area close to the metro station on Line 3 like the Metropark Hotel.

Dafen Map location

Longgang, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China