Dafen Oil Painting Village, Shenzhen

Dafen Oil Painting Village, Shenzhen

Dafen Oil Painting Village 大芬 specializes in making large numbers of replicas of oil paintings by masters such as Van Gogh, Dalí, da Vinci, and Rembrandt. Almost certainly any replica painting you’ve seen in an office or hotel somewhere came from Dafen Village. It’s estimated that nearly 60% of the worlds oil paintings are produced in Dafen Village[1] thus giving it the name “World’s Art Factory”.

Portraits of Mao an Buffet

In addition to cranking out replicas, artists do their own styles and take commissioned work. For example, many people will give an artist a photo of something they want painted. You can walk around the village then select an art shop for which you like painter’s style, select sizes, frames, etc. In a week or so the painting is ready and can be shipped almost anywhere in the world.

Artist making a copy from a photo
Copying from a photo on his iPad.

There are several thousands of artists living in in Dafen Village making a living. Most of them are academy trained artists and in can do quite beautiful work both copy art and in their own style. Of course many are just workers cranking out hotel room decor. But don’t get the idea these are all junk art though, many artist in the village are exceptionally talented in their own style. Painting replicas for the mass market pays the bills.

Artist painting a large scene sideways

Getting to Dafen Oil Painting Village

Dafen Oil Painting Village is a suburb of Bujizhen just Northeast of downtwon Shenzhen in Guangdong province.

Starting from the Shenzhen Railway Station the two best options are either directly by car/taxi or metro. A car ride will take about 30 minutes in good traffic.

Taking the metro is convenient and may be faster when traffic it bad; It’s about 45-minutes. Start at metro line 1 then transfer to line 3 and get off at Mumianwan station. Dafen is a 10-minute walk from there. Review on Google Maps


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