Travel Report: OCT-LOFT Creative Culture Park, Shenzhen.
February 2018. Art lovers will find plenty to admire about the Chinese city of Shenzhen. There are murals, sculptures and statues aplenty throughout the city’s parks and squares. Moreover, one shouldn’t leave town without visiting the fascinating Dafen Oil Painting Village. And then you’ve got OCT-LOFT Creative Culture Park, built from the bones of a former electronics factory in 2005.
Oct Loft Creative Culture Park is much like Beijing’s excellent 798 Art District, just on a much smaller and less edgier scale. Dive in and you’ll find trendy cafes, bars, restaurants, craft stores and bookshops sat between studios and galleries.
OCT-LOFT Creative Culture Park, Shenzhen.
The complex also has a few reconstructed traditional townhouses. The buildings have been turned into art galleries and interior design exhibitions. And you’re free to just wander around with little staff presence.
This shot was taken at OCT-LOFT’s Enormous Space Exhibition, an aircraft hangar type structure featuring sketches, paintings, videos and projections. Apparently, the work here “reflects the modes of expression mediated by China’s urbanisation”.
I’m not exactly sure what that means, but the exhibition did allow me to fashion my alter ego…. SHADOW LEIGHTON!
For Shenzhen locals, OCT-LOFT Creative Culture Park 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 while tapping away on their Macs. Furthermore, you’ll almost certainly bump into a pretty young thing like this doing a photoshoot.
Perhaps inspired by frolicking leaves girl, I decided to grab a silly OCT-LOFT shot of my own. It was a bit of a hassle squeezing myself into the cage’s little cat flap door. But hey, I got my photo, and my shenanigans seemed to amuse a passing group of Chinese tourists.
OCT-LOFT Creative Culture Park is free to enter and open daily from 10:00-17:30. For an alternative view of the park, have a read of this article from DL’S TRAVELS.
For a similar experience, take a look at my visit to Beijing’s 798 Art District.
I’ve also written more travel reports from Shenzhen.
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