Not long after I moved to Beijing, back in 2006, I visited the 798 arts district, which I wrote about in the post you can get to by clicking on these words. I always figured an "arts district" would be something that would change constantly, so I've wanted to return for a long time. I finally got that chance on 10 October, 2010, when one of my local friends suggested it as a good Sunday alternative to visiting a park, since it was raining.
Rather than taking a taxi, I managed on public transport, taking the subway to Dongzhimen and transferring to a bus. It was still a fairly long journey, and I arrived there some time after my friend.
I'd say the Zone has greatly expanded since my first visit. I saw many of the same galleries, and many of the large outdoor sculptures I saw before were still around, though not necessarily in the same places.
Nice looking but terrible MPG.
One recurring theme is modern adaptations or interpretations of traditional Chinese techniques, subjects, and styles.
A lot of works are clearly symbolic, but it's not always clear what the artist intended as the meaning.
I'm particularly fond of art with a sense of humor, like this double portrait with Cones of Shame.
A whole gallery was devoted to the work of a painter who deals in incredibly realistic, details oil paintings.
The girl just right of center was in every painting - I believe it's the artist's daughter.
Some sculptures have signs that say to keep off; some don't.
This is a massive display that was just going in. There were workers assembling wolves and placing them all around the square.
Some of the galleries had artists present, and this Korean artist was actually working.
His work is dedicated to peace and unity on the Korean Peninsula, so we all signed a petition to show our support. He posed for a few pictures, then got back to the large painting on the floor.
Well, this post is getting kind of long, so I'll pick up the story in the next entry.