Monday, September 12, 2011


I haven't been to the Art Village in 4 years, but I doubt it's changed much and many clients ask me how to get there. Artwork can make a room come alive and finish a mood.  

DaFen Art Village is located in Shenzhen, about 15 minute taxi ride from the LoWu Station. It's home to hundreds of art galleries and oil painting companies - many streets of small shops back and forth .  Tons of art to look at.  

Today, there are over 5000 artists and art workers. Its no longer a hamlet but more like a gated community surrounded by busy bustling streets. The Dafen Oil Painting Village streets and alleyways, however, are quiet, walkable, and full of art shops selling oil paintings, watercolors, sculptures, and other art. 

The choices are plenty as there are several hundred shops. You can even commission an artist to paint an image of your choosing. How about a self portrait? Want to immortalize your favorite landscape? Just bring a pic and 
I’m sure any of these talented artists can help you out.

You may take a chance and bring a photo of a landscape or still life for them to copy.  Remember, they haven't been there and their interpretation might create a different end result than what you were expecting. 

SUGGESTION:  Look for art that is original  - not a commercial massed produced item.  Even though the prices are fabulous - you may tire of something that you see everywhere versus a quality piece of work.  

Yes, you can barter!  If it's original - the percentage off may be smaller. 

I was on a mission to find just this type of work and must have visited every shop.  Just when I was about to give up - this caught my eye and I knew I had found it.  It's about 52" x 42" already framed and cost about $1200 RMB and I have a museum type painting.  

This was an original piece - not a copy.  It reminded me of the factories I frequent and the colors were spot on to my decor.  It's about 36" x 48" and unframed it was $1100 RMB.  I then took it to a framer - and for about $350 RMB it was complete.   The framer shipped it to me - CRATED. Maybe another $350 RMB

That's not easy - the framers don't speak English.  Maybe bring a phrase or two written in Chinese so you can communicate.
Like:  How much for this molding to frame this painting?  No, I do not need cloth matting.  I want you to crate it and send it to me in Hong Kong.  How much complete to do that - include cost of delivery?

My one painting came in with the corner chipped - even though crated -try and communicate to protect the corners with bubble wrap- they're more fragile.

IMPORTANT:   Also look on the back.  How are you going to hang it?  Is it wired and ready for hanging.  Make sure they 
do that!

I also wrote my name and address on the back of the canvas so it didn't get confused or replaced by a copy. 

  • Measure the middle of the painting in the back and mark it. 
  • Measure the wall 59-60" up from the floor (eye level) - mark the wall.
  • pull your wire in the back and measure the center point of your wire to your center point marking on the painting.  Say 10" is the difference/ the gap...  (the curve of the wire).
  • Then measure on your wall 10" ABOVE your 60" mark.  That's where you place your screw or hanger.
  • Your painting center should hit at your eye level when  hung. 
  • If there is a piece of furniture positioned below the painting - make sure you have room so it doesn't hit.  You can raise it slightly.  

Lucky you  - here's a map:

Remember:  You must have a current Chinese Visa.
You can do this in about 1/2 day and still have time to shop Lo Wu on the way back.

Easy enough is to walk over to the Shangri-La hotel when you arrive and they can help get a taxi.  Take a hotel card to show the taxi on your return. 

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