ART & DESIGN — Something Different

Skip the Luohu Commercial City—there’s more to Shenzhen than elbowing past housewives to buy that Balenciaga bag in a shady shop. Hear are some alternatives ideas for your stop-over in the mainland.

He Xiangning Art Museum

After you’ve eaten, shopped and spa-ed your way around the city, reserve a few hours to take in some art. The museum, which opened in 1997, has a permanent collection devoted to the work of painter and social activist He Xiangning (1878-1972). But if traditional painting isn’t to your taste, there is more current art on show. In addition to collecting and exhibiting He’s work, the museum is also devoted to researching and exhibiting local and international contemporary art.
Shennan Rd., Overseas Chinese Town, Nanshan District, (86-755) 2660-4540, Near the Hua Qiao Cheng metro station.


After hitting He Xiangning Art Museum, take a 10-minute walk to O-CAT (Contemporary Art Terminal). On the way, enjoy the tree-lined walkway and savor the feeling that you’re not wandering around a busy city.
O-CAT was established in 2005 by the He Xiangning Art Museum in a former factory space and is comprised of some 32,000 sq feet of exhibition halls, offices and an area devoted to hosting annual international artist residencies. There’s a ton to see, and a lot of ground to cover, so comfortable walking shoes are necessary. Stop by Umi Space (located at F1-104-107) for exhibitions featuring up-and-coming young artists. Once you’ve tired of trekking around the massive space and talking art, there are a number of restaurants and cafés in the area, including a Starbucks (a sign, for better or worse, that the space has really arrived as a sightseeing location).
O-CAT, Overseas Chinese Town, Nanshan District, (86-755) 2691-6199, Near the Qiao Cheng Dong metro station.

Century Furnishings Central Mall

Furniture fans will enjoy a trip to this sprawling complex of strip malls, split into A, B and C areas (each area is massive, so happy walking). Peruse the showrooms of furniture styles, from quaint American country to I-am-so-nouveau-riche-I-want-a-gilded-room-like-Versailles; from antique Qing to modern Chinese minimalism. There are door handles in one wing, ceramic tiles in another. Want Egyptian hieroglyphics on your wall, or a bathroom like a Ming tomb? It’s all there (made in Shandong though). Area C, with all the remarkable designer knockoff lamps, is especially popular with the locals.
Shennan Dalu, Futian District, (86-755) 8731-0111, Near the Xiangmihu metro station.

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Address: ART & DESIGN — Something Different, Shenzhen, China
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