Making a cultural cluster in China: A study of Dafen Oil Painting Village, Shenzhen

Si Ming LI*, Hung ha Cheng, Jun Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Capitalizing on cultural resources to promote economic and urban development has increasingly become a major concern in cities in the world. This paper examines the case of Dafen Oil Painting Village in Shenzhen, China, which has been transformed from a poor rural village to a major oil painting production centre. This study tries to unravel the realities behind the "Dafen Brand", with special attention on the forces behind the branding exercise and the associated socio-economic consequences as observed from the doubly deprived painter-workers. Dafen's art practitioners encounter severe economic hardship similar to the difficulties faced by other rural migrant workers in China's major metropolises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-164
Number of pages9
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Urban Studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • Branding exercise
  • Cultural industry
  • Dafen Village
  • Painter-workers


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