The 798 Arts District is a thriving arts community in Beijing that is home to several art galleries, artist studios, design firms, and trendy restaurants and bars. Its name comes from the factory 798, an abandoned electronics factory that has since been converted to an art space and now has become the most recognizable icon of the 798 Arts District. The community is compared to art districts like SoHo or Greenwich Village, but since it is quite new (started in 2002), it doesn’t have quite the depth or variety of art/artists found in those places.
Overall, 798 felt a bit touristy to me. There is an art school there and several modern art galleries, but I think perhaps a bit more time is needed for the art community to develop and establish its character. It had a nice offering of artsy boutiques, cafes, and restaurants, so it’s a great place to spend an afternoon. I’m excited to see, though, how it transforms in another ten years.
Have you visited 798 before? What did you think of it?
Baby E appreciates modern art.
I like to call this one, “The Burden of Westernization.” :P