Discover Local Art in a Former Canning Factory Turned Design District
Bring a camera and prepare to wander up and down alleyways of what was once one of the largest factories in Asia. Art galleries, major design studios, boutique and couture clothing shops, cafes and restaurants fill out shady tree-lined streets. Soviet-era brick meets glass, steel, and polished concrete in renovated historic buildings. The boutiques have good souvenir gifts that are both attractive and creative, while explicitly referencing Chinese history and culture.
Built in 1956, the Guangdong Factory churned out millions of cans of Dace (fish) in Black Bean Sauce during the Soviet era. Today, the former canning equipment stands on street corners, painted in whimsical colors and rearranged for form not function, and the factory's output is art and design products.
A government-supported project, Redtory mirrors the design districts that have popped up in former industrial and warehouse districts around the globe, but with the muscle of China behind it. For example, an artist in residence program attracts talent from around the globe in China-sized volume; well over 100 artists a year are invited to make and display their work.
Take the metro to the Yuancun stop (Line 5). Exit B puts you on the street; follow signs to the back entrance, along neighborhood streets and graffiti-splashed walkways. It's a very short walk with lots of things to look at. If the restaurants inside the Factory aren't your speed, there are plenty of local eateries here.