Best attraction in Beijing? Sure, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall are world famous tourist attractions, the Summer Palace and Tiananmen square are great, but of all the things I did in Beijing – and I did quite a lot – the number one most impressive thing was the 798 art district. Walking around that area fills me with hope, because where you see such expressions of art you see culture and feel a sense of freedom. You can tell me all you want about how Chinese or Asian cultures lack creativity and that in China artistic talent is crushed under the authoritarian rule or that the art is too commercialized, but seeing this place my instinctive objection received empirical support showing that life finds a way. You can be cynical about everything, but if you get right down to it – 798 is what every big city should have, a place for artists to showcase their most extreme and bizarre artistic statements.

To get an initial taste, you can check out my previous visit to 798 and my ramblings about how jealous I am that we don’t have anything remotely similar to this in Hong Kong.

 

More examples? Here’s from my quick tour around…

 

798 art district - Beijing (50)

798 art district - Beijing (49)

798 art district - Beijing (43)

798 art district - Beijing (31)

798 art district - Beijing (10)

798 art district - Beijing (3)

798 art district - Beijing (5)

 

Not impressed? you’re not feeling that this art says anything? Try this…

 

798 art district - Beijing (48)

798 art district - Beijing (35)

798 art district - Beijing (33)

798 art district - Beijing (30)

798 art district - Beijing (22)

798 art district - Beijing (7)

798 art district - Beijing (4)

 

Doesn’t mean much to you? Oh well, I tried.

 

 

Walking around, you also get to see the occasional peculiar thing, and the area is generally very charming…

 

798 art district - Beijing (39)

798 art district - Beijing (9)

798 art district - Beijing (12)

798 art district - Beijing (32)

798 art district - Beijing (34)

798 art district - Beijing (20)

798 art district - Beijing (8)

 

 

And I’ll wrap up with a final batch of art…

798 art district - Beijing (11)798 art district - Beijing (13)

798 art district - Beijing (14)

798 art district - Beijing (23)

798 art district - Beijing (24)

798 art district - Beijing (25)

798 art district - Beijing (26)

798 art district - Beijing (27)

798 art district - Beijing (28)

 

Very much looking forward to my next visit there.



Tags: 798; art; art district; artists; beijing; exhibition; galleries; gallery; museum;


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2 Comments on "Revisiting Beijing’s 798 Art District"

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gregorylent
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some great art there, yes, and yet i have to wonder if anyone is making any money in the entire district .. maybe a few of the cafes, at least in summer. in winter, not even them, i would think.

maotai
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What is sad is that many of the artists that made the place great have moved out due to the increased rent.

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