Redtory is a self-proclaimed district dedicated to art and creative design in the heart of Guangzhou. Located on the shores of the Pearl River, across the Pazhou exhibition center and on the outer border of the new business district of Zhujiang New Town which concentrates many of the city’s new cultural landmarks (Guangzhou’s new opera house, museum of Guangdong province, Guangzhou’s new library), Redtory is a young cultural enterprise.
Known to locals as Red Brick Factory (红砖厂), Redtory is an abandoned soviet-style canned food factory that was transformed into an artsy district in 2009. The former industrial compound is now lined with public art, creative studios, art galleries that hold temporary exhibitions from Chinese and international artists.
There are also dozens of wanna-be-trendy, café-bookshops where the visitors can sip a cup of tea while browsing books, wanna-be trendy café-bookshops, shops where visitors can purchase designer (from coffee mug, to hand-bag to Redtory t-shirts) and higher-end restaurants that caters to an art-oriented gilded youth.
Off-the-tourist-trail laid back travel destination within the megalopolis of the Pearl River Delta, Redtory is the right place to spend a few hours away from the crowded streets of the city.
The very presence of Redtory just a few kilometers from the new financial district of Zhujiang New Town is a reminder that Guangzhou is not only a business hub, but also a city where art culture have their space.
For those who have been to Beijing’s art hub of 798 district or Shanghai’s Tianzifang art district, you will be disappointed. The shaping of Redtory into a creative and art district is still a young endeavor which is still small in scope.
Many warehouses and factory buildings in Redtory are still empty and waiting to be converted into art studios, galleries and shop. At the moment, even though it feels that they are more spaces of consumption than spaces of art creation, Redtory is not as commercialized as Beijing 798 district, at least not yet. Redtory is nonetheless a promising cultural and art space in the heart of Guangzhou.
Many Redtory’s art venues host temporary exhibitions according to their own calendar. On my last visit, it seemed that nothing was happening though: most of the art venues were closed and/or preparing for their next temporary exhibitions.
Redtory nonethless remained a space of art and art creation. Beyond the public art and pieces of machinery of the former factory displayed as pieces of art in the alleys, the Red Brick Factory also attracts countless of local photographers who get inspired by the warehouse setting for their creation.
How to get to Redtory
Redtory is located in Guangzhou Tianhe district (天河区). You can access through the north parking lot situated at 128 Yuancun Siheng Road (员村四横路128号) – a 15 minutes walk from Keyun Lu subway station (科韵路站) on line 5 – or through the south entrances on Linjiang Avenue (临江大道) near the Pearl River before the Pazhou bridge (琶洲大桥) – a 15 minutes walk from Yuancun subway station (员村站) on line 5.
Alternative to Redtory
The village of Xiaozhou (小洲) is emerging as an artsy village in suburban Guangzhou. While Redtory is an organized collective of artists and designers who gave the red factory a new life, Xiaozhou is a regular Cantonese village which is attracting art students. Photography, painting and design studios have opened along new trendy coffee shops.
Read the article about Xiaozhou art village