798 Art Zone is Beijing's arts district, located in a former E. German factory and consisting of a large city block of galleries, coffee shops, art stores, and boutiques, with China's modern art scattered about in exhibition.
Not many artists have studios here, as there has been a level of commercialization. . . but this allows it to continue to exist, and many cities in the world don't have such a vibrant art community (though it is bolstered by the unreal bubble of China's new art market).
The "true" artists are now located in compounds farther out of the city, like Ai Weiwei and his compound in the village of Caochangdi. . .
But 798 is a cool place to walk around, to investigate and explore the art and changing galleries mixed in with industrial relics. . . towers, gasworks, old trains. It a tourist site, with families walking about, new urban bohemians emanating style, couples taking artistic wedding photos.
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