February 2018. Art lovers will find plenty to admire about Shenzhen. The city’s parks and squares are full of sculptures and statues, while a half-day visit to Dafen Oil Painting Village and its modern art museum is a must for anyone visiting the city. And then you’ve got OCT LOFT, a so-called Creative Culture Park built from the bones of a former electronics factory in 2005.
February 2018. The setup is much like Beijing’s excellent 798 Art District, albeit on a much smaller and less edgier scale. Trendy cafes, bars, restaurants, craft stores and bookshops sit snugly between the studios and galleries. Here and there you can explore reconstructed traditional townhouses like this one, decked out with tasteful modern furnishings. A photo exhibition dominates the back wall, while an open balcony looks down on a café below.
February 2018. This shot was taken at The Enormous Space Exhibition, an aircraft hangar type structure featuring sketches, paintings, videos and projections “reflecting the modes of expression mediated by China’s urbanization and personal aesthetics”. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it did allow me to fashion my alter ego…. SHADOW LEIGHTON!
February 2018. For Shenzhen’s locals the complex seems less to do with actual art appreciation and more as a place to be seen. Bored housewives sip on their caramel lattes as unsmiling businessmen order overpriced salads for lunch. And you’ll no doubt bump into a pretty young thing like this girl, using OCT-LOFT’s agreeable aesthetics as the backdrop for a photo shoot. And why not?
February 2018. Perhaps inspired by frolicking leaves girl, I decided to grab a silly shot of my own. It was a bit of a bugger squeezing myself into the cage’s little cat flap door. In any case I go the photo I needed and my shenanigans caused great amusement to some passing Chinese tourists. OCT-LOFT Creative Culture Park is open daily from 10:00-17:30.
For more on my adventures in the city, check out more of travel reports on Shenzhen.
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