While Shenzhen is the undisputed capital of electronics manufacturing, tucked away beneath the towering skycrapers is a more unusual claim to fame, the capital of mass replica art manufacturing.
Dafen Oil Painting Village is the knock-off oil painting capital of the world, producing 60% of the world’s art reproductions. Here, you can buy as many Van Goghs, Monets, and classical Chinese landscapes as you’d like, or commission a painting of your own. In the galleries at Dafen Village, hundreds of budding artists work to recreate famous masterpieces to sell overseas at cheap prices. (Notably, in addition to the replicas, there are some artists who have independent galleries selling original work.)
The village has a surprising small-town feel within the extremely urban Shenzhen. Walk along the outskirts and you’ll find chicken coops and kids running underfoot, as well as a cottage industry of all the painting supplies you could need.
Know Before You Go
To get here, take the Blue Line of the Shenzhen Metro. The village is between the Dafen and Mumianwan station.