Monday, February 23

beijing's 798 art district: part I


for awhile now i'd been hearing about the 798 art district from my sister. a warehouse? with art? and parties? sounds like the type of thing i seek in LA.

apparently, it's more than that. i expected a handful of galleries. no one explained that this was a gigantic community that just sprung up in the last few years in beijing. how i wish this had existed when i lived there 10 years ago.


these are warehouses originally built by russia/east germany in the 50s. i have some great shots of the interior with neatly stacked arcs by height and huge windows. really amazing - something i had never seen and definitely a part of beijing i never knew. these will be posted in part 2 - i just have way too many photos.

at the same time, i felt a little confused in this huge, campus-like space. i mean, the wiki even has a section on gentrification! where am i? los angeles? to me, it's almost inconceivable that i would confront this in beijing. i think part of it is the nostalgia i have for my version of old beijing, when my friends and i would buy ghetto abercrombie knock off pants on the street for $4. it was still a big, international city back then, but lately, it's beginning to lose something i can't really articulate.


the inside of one of many art galleries. (a lot of them forbid photography but oops. it happened anyway.) overall i am really glad to see such a huge contemporary art scene in china. people are finally expressing themselves.


and look - graffiti.



see the rest of the set here.