Ask any serious art collectors and they will tell you that the contemporary art scene in Beijing is on par with all of those traditional strongholds such as Paris or New York. For many, 798 Art District is a poster child of this movement, if not already a little over its peak since its popularity with tourists has made it less attractive for artists.
798 began its life in 1954 as an East German designed electronics factory compound. As luck would have it, the German architects from Weimar drafted a Bauhaus influenced design that was never seen in China before and probably quite avant-garde at that time even in America. To make a long story short, this 80-acre industrial complex has been gradually converted into an exuberant mecca of art galleries and artists’ studios in the last six or seven years with a little bit of industrial activity still lingering on.
The curvy roofline of these sawtooth-shaped buildings is a signature of 798. It is also perfect for art galleries due to the vast amount of north-facing windows letting in soft natural light.
Here is a small sample of some of the art pieces that caught my eye during the whole afternoon I spent in 798. I will definitely go back since I only saw about sixty percent, and those sixty percent has already given me great inspirations.