* In this blog series, we will be posting 8 short stories displayed in Unidentified Acts of Design, exploring contemporary production and manufacturing in Shenzhen and the Pearl River Delta. This week we take a look at the lives of painters living and working in Dafen Village.
The Painters / Dafen
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.