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3 Aug 2014

798 Art Zone Beijing Part 2, Beijing

Beijing [北京] • 3 AUGUST 2014
Introduction of 798 Art District
"798" is located in the Dashanzi area, to the northeast of central Beijing.It is the site of state-owned factories including Factory 798, which originally produced electronics.

Beginning in 2002, artists and cultural organizations began to divide, rent out, and re-make the factory spaces, gradually developing them into galleries, art centers, artists' studios, design companies, restaurants, and bars.

It became a "Soho-esque" area of international character, replete with "loft living," attracting attention from all around. Bringing together contemporary art, architecture, and culture with a historically interesting location and an urban lifestyle, "798" has evolved into a cultural concept, of interest to experts and normal folk alike, influential on our concepts of both urban culture and living space.

Old Factory Bar
“Old Factory” bar had been redecorated from a work place of the old 798 Factory. It creatively kept the machines and facilities of the old space and add the concept of art and culture into it. The “Old Factory” service Italian cuisine.

Together with “798 Space” and “Art Book Shop”, the “Old Factory” service to both contemporary art and commercial activities. It’s a relaxing place where people can experience the spirit and life style of the post-industrial age.

POP LIFE Exhibition
The POP LIFE exhibition combines  a rare and unique presentation of some of the most popular characters and properties through the eyes and collaborations by some of the leading trendsetters and creative visionaries; featuring a re-imagination and re-interpretations. Presented by BAIT, Crown Dynasty and Funko Exclusive Limited Edition Releases.

Exhibition Date: August 16th to August 19th, 2012
Exhibition Venue: 798 SPACE
Artists:  Michael Lau (Hong Kong) 、Mark Paul Deren aka MadSteez (USA)、Hysteric Mini   (Japan)、Secret Base (Japan)、CoolRain (Korea)、NO2GOOD from STAYREAL (Taiwan)

Built in the 1950s, this factory district was a major industrial project by East German architects backed by Soviet aid. All but abandoned by the 1980s, the complex was rediscovered in the late 1990s by a small group of Beijing artists who had just been evicted from their previous haunts and were looking for a new place to set up working and living spaces.

Initially a completely DIY affair similar to the squats of the East Village in the 1980s and East Berlin of the 1990s, the quality of art produced and international media attention starting from the early 2000s meant that the district government took notice. Eventually the area was declared a protected arts district, paving the way for commercial galleries, cafés, and souvenir shops. Priced out of their original studios, many working artists have decamped further afield to the Caochangdi and Songzhuang neighborhoods.

Both of these smaller areas are worth visiting, though neither is easily accessible except via taxi. Ask your hotel concierge for a detailed map or better yet, call ahead to the galleries you're interested in visiting and get driving instructions.

798 is more accessible, however, and eminently walkable. Keep in mind that cabs are prohibited from driving into the complex and much of the area is pedestrianized. Though it's open on weekdays (except for Monday), most people visit on the weekend, when throngs of locals and foreigners congregate to see what's on display.


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