Whether you’re longing for a change of scenery or you want to explore China’s creative scene, a daytrip to Guanlan Print Village in the outskirts of Shenzhen is an excellent choice. Situated in Bao’an District, Guanlan Print Village or “Guanlan Original Printmaking Base” as it is also known, is an interesting area where traditional Hakka homes merge with a fairly new artist village. There are even impressive Diaolou buildings within the town. The artist village was formally born in 2008 and is currently free to visit and explore.
Guanlan Print Village is spread over 1400 square km, with the central area alone occupying an impressive 316 square kilometers. The area serves as a base for the creative printing industry and is home to a number of important annual print events. But for the average tourist, the biggest draws of this village are the quiet tree-lined streets, beautiful Hakka architecture and row upon row of gallery spaces. However, long before Guanlan became an official artist village the area was already famous for being the home of Chen Yanqiao (1911-1970), a pioneer in contemporary Chinese printmaking and famous art theorist and educator. Today, a museum stands in the village in his honor (more info below). While strolling around this unusual area is a highlight by itself, below we introduce a few other places worth checking out while there.
1) Print Workshop 版画工坊
A visit to the Print Workshop is a must. The 1,000 square meter building is divided into four key areas dedicated to lithography, etching, screen printing and woodcutting. China’s top printmakers work here and visitors get to watch the print-making process from start to finish, as well as mingle with the artists in residence.
2) Chen Yanqiao Museum陈烟桥陈列馆
Chen Yanqiao’s former home was remodeled to make space for this museum. It features three rooms and a large courtyard that surrounds the entire premises. His bedroom has been arranged according to the original, and personal family photos adorn the walls. One of the rooms exhibits Chen’s work tools, books, published works and letters he exchanged with the famous writer Lu Xun.
3) Artist Town艺术部落View In Map
Over 30 galleries, art shops, workshops and exhibition spaces can be found among this clutter of traditional Hakka houses. Even if you’re not interested in buying any works, a walk through this area is well worth it. Some notable galleries to look out for include the Diancang Art Space Gallery (典藏艺术空间画廊) at 1 Chunmu Alley which is the first gallery in the town specialized in print and mainly promotes works by famous contemporary print artists. They also organize exchange programs with international artists and collectors. Another gallery worth visiting is the Congming Art Studio (丛明艺术工作室) at 10 Qiushui Alley. Founded in 1999, the studio exhibits Japanese Ukiyo-e (a genre of Japanese woodblock prints), traditional Chinese paintings, oil paintings and antiques. Art Xiaoyan (小燕画院) on 24 Qiushui Alley is dedicated to teaching art to children. The gallery has also participated in exchange programs with the US, France, Germany and many other countries.
Guanlan Original Printmaking Base/Guanlan Artist Village
Add: Guanlan Original Printmaking Base, Bao’an District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 2978 2510
Opening hours: The area is open all day but galleries close at different times
Getting there: take bus No. b650, b768, b769 or e4 to Guanlan Jiedaoban stop (观澜街道办站)
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Keywords: Guanlan print village daytrip ideas from Shenzhen artist village Shenzhen
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