Shenzhen is a newer modern city that sits just over the border from the Hong Kong territories. People from Hong Kong go over for items and services and vice versa. In fact, after a bus ride to the border, walking to immigration at the border and entering China was easier for me than coming home and going through U.S. Immigration at SFO (San Francisco's airport). Go figure. Once across the border we took the subway and went to our hotel room, did a little walking around and then got ready for the banquet.
The next morning we got our belongings together, as we had to return to Hong Kong that day, ate and then boarded the subway for the Dafen Village Station. Getting off and walking to the area we passed a Walmart; I told my friend I wanted to visit it just to see what it was like. We did going back and OMG! It was like Black Friday here in the states! I have never, EVER seen that many people in a Walmart ... or in any other store in my life! I was told that was just a normal day!
|The first shop was you enter Dafen Village|
Years ago I seen a show on "60 Minutes" that talked about painting mills in Asia. There would be 50 "original" paintings in a row and one artist would start at one end and paint the same thing on every canvas. They would be followed by the next "artist" who painted something else on all the canvases. This went on until all the canvases were done. Ever wondered where all those original works of art at the corner gas station on sale for $49 each came from ... well, somewhere in Asia.
It wasn't just paintings, though there were plenty of those, it was supplies, raw unpainted but
|The rolling French easel ... something|
I could only dream about!
|Alan's Monet styled water lilies painting|
|This gives you an idea of both the available art and the available frames. This was just one side alley.|
|iPad to the left and bracing stick to the right!|
At another gallery, we saw not only his hundreds of finished paintings stacked up like sheets of paper but watched him paint two paintings at a time of items that he had already painted in a variety of other interesting color combinations. I know from experience that as long as you paint two or three things at a time, even if the pattern is the same no two pieces are really alike. I myself did that for a time. It was a great way to get more than one of a wonderful design. By the time you got to the first item again, the paint had dried! I would sell one, and keep it posted as there were, for awhile at least, a second or third item available.
Two is always better than one! I can't believe how they
dressed. If that was me, and he was using oils, they
would be all over me by now!!!
|Qiang carrying his paintings|
|Shop till you drop takes on new meaning in Dafen Village|
I can think of no city, town or village that is quite as dedicated to art as here. There is so much to see and explore that you could easily spend a few days visiting each shop, finding things you have either never seen before or have hungered for and can really enjoy and learn watching the artists at work.
After an afternoon of looking we wanted something to drink before we headed back to Hong Kong. We found a kind of pub I would guess that true to form was almost like an art gallery playing American oldie goodies on the sound system and was filled with arty types deep in discussion. What fun for every and any artist!!!
If you ever get to Shenzhen this is a must see on your tourist list. You will not regret the time! Its not far from Hong Kong, an hour bus or train trip away. However, you will need a Chinese visa to visit while, at least for now, you don't need one for Hong Kong.