Shenzhen has several creative spaces, from the popular OCT Loft, to G&G Creative Community and the lesser known, like I-Factory. Usually in disused or abandoned factories or buildings, these spaces have been repurposed with cafes, stores, restaurants, bars and art galleries. The rustic urban feel is a nice juxtaposition to some of the contemporary art and design that is housed in these spaces.
SoFun Land (集悦城), however, is different. Unlike the thriving OCT Loft – this is a complete ghost town. With shuttered restaurants, closed cafes and very little foot traffic, you would be hard-pressed to know you were in Shenzhen. In previous years this used to a busy little spot, especially with the students from the local university campus but for whatever reason it is not anymore.
The stand out of SoFun Land is the graffiti. Huge murals on the side of buildings, or tiny pieces nestled into corners, this will have something everyone will smile at. Any fan of The Big Bang Theory will especially enjoy it, because of the massive artwork of Sheldon Cooper on the side of the building.
Most definitely a selfie worthy picture! You can spend a day just walking around seeing how much graffiti you can spot here. Most of the graffiti here have pop culture references and it will surely bring a smile to your face. I would estimate there are over a hundred pieces of graffiti or more here, so get spotting and get snapping. Remember to explore every side street and alleyway to see them all. Unfortunately, they are not as clean and crisp as before, but still worth checking out.
Food and drink options are limited here with most places being closed, if you want a coffee to go you can grab one from GEE but that’s about it. Jardin Orange, an art gallery, is also located here if you wanted to see some local art.
See listing for SoFun Land.
Tanglang metro station (Line 5, Exit D), 20-minute walk.
133 Tangxing Lu, Nanshan District 南山区塘兴路133号
Joe Macpherson, also known as ‘Shenzhen Guide’ is a Welshman who has lived in Shenzhen for six years. He is the go-to person for Shenzhen advice on food, hiking and more. Check out his blog at wanderlustwelshman.com for more in-depth guides, plus other hidden gems in Shenzhen.
[All images courtesy of Joe Macpherson]