798 Art District
- Beijing’s Best Sights
- Beijing’s Best Restaurants
- Beijing’s Best Nightlife
- Beijing’s Best Arts and Leisure
- Beijing’s Best Shops
- Beijing’s Best Hotels
- Best of the Great Wall
- Shanghai’s Best Sights
- Shanghai’s Best Restaurants
- Shanghai’s Best Nightlife
- Shanghai’s Best Arts and Leisure
- Shanghai’s Best Shops
- Shanghai’s Best Hotels
- Shanghai’s Best Excursions
4 Jiuxianqiao Lu
HOURS: Most galleries open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. with various late-night events and openings
METRO: Sanyuanqiao (Line 10)
Beijing’s contemporary art scene has its epicenter in the 798 Art District. Also known as Dashanzi, this complex of galleries, exhibition spaces, cafés, and shops takes up what was the state-owned North China Wireless Joint Equipment factory in the 1950s.
Artists began to move into the abandoned warehouses in 2002, and now there are over 400 galleries and venues onsite. Notable among them are the 798 Photo Gallery, 798 Space (inside a Bauhaus-style hangar), the Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, and the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art.
The AT Café (owned by artist Huang Rui) is a good choice for refreshments, and the Timezone 8 bookshop stocks some excellent international titles.
If you have even a passing interest in China’s emerging art scene, a trip to 798 should be on your itinerary.
© Susie Gordon from Moon Beijing & Shanghai, 2nd Edition