A Qing dynasty pawnbrokers is now housing both a museum and a cool art space in Yuexiu District, Guangzhou. Located on Zhongshan 4th Road not far from Peasant Movement Institute, Dongping Da Ya is a five story watchtower with wood and brick structure with the construction style very rare among the surviving historical buildings in Guangzhou. It was built during the late Qing Dynasty and at the time was the second largest pawnbrokers in the city.
The front gate of Dongping Da Ya. [Photo: Monica/Newsgd.com]
In 2010, Dongping Da Ya was restored and turned into the Dongping Museum of Pawnbrokers after the renovation, being the first such museum in Guangzhou. Duringthe second half of 2018, the museum was closed for another round of restoration. On September 25th, the museum reopened to the public after this one year project. It is now operated by a social organization, the same operator behind Dongshankou’s beautiful Kui Yuan Gallery.
Now Dongping Da Ya houses not only the permanent exhibitions related to the history of pawnbroking in ancient times, but is also home to regular exhibitions of contemporary art and local culture.
Exhibits on display in Dongping Da Ya. [Photo: Monica/Newsgd.com]
An exhibition about the history of pawnbroking in Guangzhou. [Photo: Monica/Newsgd.com]
The first and second floors are home to the museum, and there are some interesting creative souvenirs which have been designed around the culture of pawnbroking.
On the third and forth floors, temporary exhibitions and events will be held to showcase some of the best contemporary art in China and Cantonese culture. Watch this space for updates.
Dongping Da Ya.[Photo: Monica/Newsgd.com]
The exterior of Dongping Da Ya. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
Opening hours: 10:30-17:30, Tuesday - Sunday, closed on Monday
Opening hours are subject to change for holidays and special events.
Add.: No. 1 Zhongshan 4th Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
Author: Wang Yifan
Editors: Simon, Monica