798 Art District
798 Art District is characterized by its mottled red-brick wall, scattered orderly industrial plants, crisscross pipelines, slogans of different ages on the wall. It’s surely quite a sight to see the uniformed workers mixed with fashion visitors. History and reality, industry and the arts perfectly blend with each other here in Beijing 798 Art District. Beijing 798 Art District has a total construction area of 230,000 square meters. It has a far and wide reputation for its diverse cultural elements such as galleries, design studios, art exhibition spaces, artists’ studios, fashion shops, restaurants etc. In 798 Art District, there are nearly 400 organizations including galleries, artists’ private studios, cultural companies like animated cartoon, television media, publishing, design and consultation, which comes from China, France, Italy, Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other countries and regions. 798 Art District has become an exhibition center of Chinese culture and art, and an influential cultural creative concentration area at both home and abroad. Beijing 798 Art District is home to a number of celebrities of art and culture, art institutions and enterprises in fashion. Many important international art exhibitions, art activities and fashion shows are often held there, which attract many worldwide political leaders, movie stars and social celebrities. Since 2004, lots of celebrities have been to 798 Art District, including Prime Ministers from Sweden, Switzerland ,and Austria ,ex-prime minister from German (Schroeder), the president of European Union(Barroso), the Queen of Belgium, the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s wife, French ex-president Chirac’s wife, Norway Prime Minister’s wife and Belgium Crown Prince. Besides, countless famous international enterprises like Sony, Motorola, West Wasted, Dior, Omega, BMW and Chinese Yahoo, had made promotions in 798 Art District. In 2006, Beijing 798 Art District was listed respectively as one of the first concentration areas of cultural creative industry by Beijing Civic and Chaoyang District Government, also named as “Beijing 798 Art Zone Cultural Creative Industrial Base of Zhong Guan Cun Electronic City” by Zhong Guan Cun management committee. The atmosphere as a creative zone, cultural park is forming, In order to boost the prosperity and development of 798 Art District, Chaoyang District Government and Seven Star group co-founded the Beijing 798 Art Zone Development and Administration office, with the principle of coordination, service, introduction, management, to boost the development of contemporary art and culture creative industry in art zone.
China’s rapid development and economic growth have sparked a creative explosion in the international art market. Beijing’s 798 Art Zone, otherwise known as Dashanzi art district, is part of this movement. Located in the Chaoyang district, the galleries exist in communist-era, Bauhaus-style factory buildings, originally named Joint Factory 798. Contemporary artists on the lookout for cheap rent, began occupying these deserted buildings in the 1990’s. Marketed towards tourists, with many galleries displaying modern oil paintings, the Chinese government supports the district both politically and financially. Despite the abundance of commercial art, there are several art centers, mainly western owned, that promote experimental, conceptual art. Additionally, an array of large-scale, utilitarian-themed sculptures are scattered outside.
Although most travelers come to Beijing to see its old iconic sites, it is well-worth the time to see the modern side of Beijing. A walking tour of Beijing's Contemporary 798 Art District is a perfect compliment to the art of Beijing's past. Wander the former factory workshops, and peruse the variety of art found here. Investigate the Bauhaus architecture, and take some time out to enjoy a drink, snack or a meal.