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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 14:03, January 27, 2005
Dafen Village: China's No.1 oil painting workshop
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Previously an unknown village, Dafen Village in Longgang District of south China's Shenzhen city rose to be the "first village of commissioned painting." Over 8, 000 painters, artisan-painters and apprentices are working at over 300 workshops densely located in the small village, which has become a production and sales base renowned both at home and abroad.

Painting base rising from reed field

It was Huang Jiang, a painting businessman from Hong Kong that inspired Dafen Village. In 1989, Huang Jiang and over 20 painters and apprentices become the first artistic explorers there. According to Huang, the low housing price in Dafen was the only reason for their choice. There, the world famous paintings imitated by Huang and his fellows were sold abroad via Hong Kong and earned them considerable profits. Gradually with increasing profits and fame, bills piled up, which attracted more and more painters to Dafen. Locals say in peak time there are over 10, 000 stationed in the village and some were even squeeze outside.

Do oil painting business as McDonald's in fast food

Till April 2004, there have been 243 shops dealing with painting and craftwork. Here the painting is ordinarily priced at about RMB30 yuan, and the highest at one to two thousand yuan. One of Huang Jiang's student Wu Ruiqiu said that he wishes to establish an industrial assembly line, "divide the making of a painting into several processes, each of which has its standard and painters do their respective shares in order." "Run oil painting businesses just as McDonald's in fast food."

Commissioned paintings priced high

Panting dealer Lin Zhenglu said, he sent in 2002 the first sales team, mainly composed of painters, to Dubai to explore the local market. Every one earned 400, 000 to 500, 000 yuan in that year alone. The per capita income of artisan-painters was close to US$10, 000, over ten times more than growing crops at home.

According to Ren Xiaofeng, who has been working at the management department of culture market in Buji Town for six years, with the merging of global economies, collectors and connoisseur are no longer the only group who have a thirst for art, common people have also become the largest group of artistic consumers. The bases including Dafen Village were just born out of such demands. However, they are drawing people's attention as for how to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights in accordance with international practice.

By People's Daily Online

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