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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dafen in Shenzhen, China "The Artist Village"

So my two friends Theo and Miranda and myself took the two-hour ride from Guangzhou to Shenzhen to check out "Dafen," which is a kind of art village. It is a place where many artists gather to paint and to sell. Like most markets in China, this market has one main theme, and that theme is "art." Much of the art are duplicates --all kinds -- some are of the great works from Renoir, Van Gogh, Monet, etc. Some are originals and unique. This is a place where you can bring a photograph and have an artist replicate it into a painting. And some of these artists are very, very talented.

Here is Miranda as we first step out to explore.

School children going for a tour of Dafen.

I found a brightly-colored alley and of course had to have a picture.

Here is a sexy version of Sponge Bob, or in this case, you might call him "Sponge Boob." Did I really just say that?

Miranda looking into the sculpture shop.

I had this artist's permission to take his picture. His works were quite good and we looked at them for a while. I loved the atmosphere among all the artists - it was very laid back.

Here is a close-up of what a real artist's palate should look like.

Just a pretty spot right outside of above-mentioned artist's shop.

Theo and Miranda posing for me so that I could capture the scenery around them.

A painting that was purchased at Dafen, and then delivered.

More of Dafen.

Okay, the truth is, I have no idea what this building is, but it looked cool and traditional, and I got Theo to take a picture of me pretending to go in. I think she got a kick out of my performance.

Theo is one of the most fun people to go shopping with! She is an architect who loves art and a good bargain. In every shop, you could hear Theo saying "tai gui le" accompanied by a look of disapproval or disgust. Then the prices would lower like magic. In Chinese, "tai gui le" means "too expensive." This lady knows how to bargain and even though she says she can't speak Chinese except for a few phrases-- somehow, I think that is all she needs know.

Thank you Miranda for being such a great subject for my pictures. She had a bright green shirt which stood out and never complained when I asked if I could take her picture.

We found a little place for dim sum and they brought out these dishes all wrapped up in plastic. I unwrapped them, and then Theo told me that I needed to wash them. I thought she was kidding. She wasn't.

They brought a big empty glass bowl, and then poured some hot tea or water. We then used the hot liquid to rinse off our spoons, cups, bowls and plates and dumped the water into the big bowl. Whew! Now we could eat. I was told later that this practice started back in 2004 when there was the "SARS" scare, or what we know as "Bird Flu."

Thank goodness most places have pictures in their menus! We were able to point to the pictures and Miranda who has a pretty decent vocabulary in Chinese, came to the rescue.

Yum! Once again, success with Dim Sum. The green beans were the best!

I will definitely be returning to Dafen soon!

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