This past week I was lucky enough to get a couple much needed days off in celebration of China’s National Day, which is an annual public holiday marking the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. Because almost everyone is off from school and work, this mini vacation was not a good time to travel or visit some of Beijing’s most famous sites; instead, my friends and I decided to check out a slightly more secluded part of Beijing called 798 Art District. Before going, I was super excited about this opportunity because I am currently conducting a research project on contemporary/young adult art in China and its impact on Chinese culture. It was so awesome to be able to see some contemporary Chinese art in person!
Stepping into the art district felt like being in a different world. Most of the galleries seemed to be in abandoned industrial buildings and factories, but all of them seemed to have their own wonderland like twist, for example the giant panda statues and bright pink walls, or the Simpsons and Paul Frank characters outside of one shop.
One of my favorite pieces was a large outdoor mural with really intricate details of buildings and daily life, as well as a changing line of perspective. It looked like a bird’s eye view of a futuristic city. I am really looking forward to going back to 798 Art District very soon and continuing to explore – with so many twists and turns, I feel like I have barely cracked the surface of all it has to offer.