Dafen village is in Buji Township, Longgang District, Shenzhen. Best known for its oil painting replica workshops and manufacturers, its oil paintings exported to Asia, Europe and America bring in billions of RMB each year to this area.

Our concept focuses on reinterpreting the urban and cultural implications of Dafen Village, which has long been considered as a strange mix of pop art, bad taste and commercial value. A typical art museum type would be considered out of place in the context of Dafen’s peculiar urban culture. The question is whether it can be a breeding ground for contemporary art and also take on the more challenging role of blending the museum with the surrounding urban fabric in terms of spatial connections, art activities and everyday life. Therefore our strategy is to create a hybridized mix of different programs, like art museums, oil painting galleries and shops, commercial spaces and rental workshops and studios under one roof. It also creates a maximum interaction among people by creating several pathways through the building’s public spaces. The museum is sandwiched by commercial and other public programs which intentionally allow for visual and spatial interactions among different functions. Exhibition, trade, painting and residence can happen simultaneously and can penetrate each other and can be interwoven into a whole new urban mechanism.

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