At first glance, Shenzhen resembles a city built strictly for commerce: glass and steel structures sprout upward in every direction and wide avenues are a blur of movement, a testament to the urgent pace of life here. However, delve a bit deeper and there is more to Shenzhen than meets the eye.
Underneath its frenetic exterior, the city has an artistic soul. In 2003, the municipal government announced the strategy of transforming Shenzhen into a “culture-based city” built around the promotion of the design industry and the arts, part of a broader trend that seeks to supplant “Made in China” with “Designed in China.”
Since then, Shenzhen has established itself as one of China’s leading cultural capitals, and design has come to play an important role in the everyday lives of its inhabitants. Owing to its location in the midst of the region known as “the factory of the world,” Shenzhen is innately equipped to be a leader in industrial design. More than 6,000 design firms operate in the city, employing more than 100,000 designers from all over China and the world, and more than 20 creative industrial clusters have been established to cater to the burgeoning population of artists and designers. In honour of Shenzhen’s achievements, the city was appointed as a UNESCO City of Design in 2008.
In addition to design, Shenzhen’s creative talents are on full display each year when the city hosts Creative December, a month-long cultural celebration that comprises well over 100 exhibitions, concerts and performances. Creative December is the capstone to a number of other cultural events, including the Shenzhen Fringe Festival and the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture.
While you’re here, visit any one of the 638 libraries, 25 museums or 62 cultural halls and revel in this hidden gem of arts and culture. Better yet, ask our concierge team to give you the inside scoop on what’s on in Shenzhen so you don’t miss a beat.