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Published: October 3rd 2018
This week marks China’s National Week, a week long celebration of The Republic of China. Our first year here, so why not embrace all that this beautiful country has to offer?
Monday was the official start of the holiday week, very similar to the USA’s Labor Day. Most businesses and all government offices were closed. Our day started rather lazy American-ish. We woke around 10am, had a very American breakfast (egg white omelette and fruit) and went to the gym. Thinking we were much closer, we thought we would go to Huaxing Temple. After a lot of research, it was determined that we would go another day. Instead, we hit another local spot / not-so tourist tourist trap: The Dafen Oil Painting Village
After wandering around the metro of Dafen, ignoring the multiple KFCs, McDonalds, and the Walmart, past closed roads and construction, we came upon this tiny neighborhood (village?) large enough for one car to pass (yet they parallel park here as well) and apartments 6 and 7 stories up. While laundry hung from above, along the streets were various local artists. Some with art that was mass produced, but some who steadily
worked under a small light, using oil paints to create natural, abstract, and modern art. There were artists who replicated Van Gogh’s Starry Night with an Asian flair or artists who would take photographs and create a painting for you. Custom frames could be negotiated from small venues or you could see lesser known artists in an alleyway selling their pieces for under 50RMB. Larger galleries focused on murals of the Great Wall, Chinese calligraphy, or large flower vases and works you would find in hotels for 10’s of thousands of USD.
Unfortunately, many artists did not want photos of their works being taken and I completely understand! So photos were at a minimum. Living in a city that’s approximately 40 years old, it has been hard finding legitimately old historic sites. So what bits of history we can uproot has been difficult to research.
Off to explore some more!
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