Wednesday, April 25, 2007
"Dashanzi Art District" is the informal name of a part of Dashanzi in the Chaoyang District of Beijing that houses a thriving artist community, among 50-year old decommissioned military factory buildings of unique architectural style. It is often compared with New York's Greenwich Village or SoHo, but faces impending destruction from the forces driving Beijing's urban sprawl.
The 798 arts district, initially based on the Bauhaus buildings of Factory 798, has experienced a period of rapid development over the past three years. In this short time it has established itself as a prominent space for showing domestic and international Chinese contemporary art, and serves as an example of what the latest contemporary Chinese culture and lifestyles have to offer. As more and more art organizations make their homes in Dashanzi area, the district has become increasingly vibrant, bringing in a wide range of art and activities.
Since 2002, the 798 arts district has organized a series of important contemporary art activities. The area is often called the 798 Art District or Factory 798 although technically, Factory #798 is only one of several structures within a complex formerly known as Joint Factory 718.