Dafen (Chinese: 大芬; pinyin: Dàfēn) is situated north to the Shenzhen Central District in the Longang District, easy to reach on the Longang Metro Line. A high number of painters, mostly oil painters, work in the gated area, replicating paintings of grand masters as well as on commission paintings from diverse customers.
“In the early 1990s a group of painters moved to Dafen Village, a small enclave on the outskirts of Shenzhen, to set up business making reproduction paintings. The village and its environs has now attracted 10,000 painters from all around China looking to try their hand at commercial painting. For many, Dafen has been an opportunity to earn a living while perfecting a craft. To facilitate the production of hundreds of thousands of paintings each year, the area has evolved into a complex production unit, with various people undertaking different functions, from frame assembly to internet sales.”
(V&A Unidentified Acts of Design at the Shenzhen Biennale)
Video documenting the Dafen Village, presented at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture: Unidentified Acts of Design: The Painters / Dafen Village from Victoria and Albert Museum