798 Art District

798 Art District information

Běijīng , China
Address
Street cnr Jiuxianqiao Lu & Jiuxianqiao Beilu; 酒仙桥路
Getting there
Bus 403 or 909
Opening hours
galleries 10am-6pm, some closed Mon
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Lonely Planet review

A vast area of disused factories built by the East Germans, 798 Art District, also known as Dà Shānzi (大山子), is Běijīng’s leading concentration of contemporary art galleries.

The industrial complex celebrates its proletarian roots in the communist heyday of the 1950s via retouched red Maoist slogans decorating gallery interiors and statues of burly, lantern-jawed workers dotting the lanes. The voluminous factory workshops are ideally suited to art galleries that require space for multimedia installations and other ambitious projects.

You could easily spend half a day wandering around the complex. Signboards with English-language maps on them dot the lanes.

Highlights include BTAP , one of 798's original galleries; UCCA , a big-money gallery with exhibition halls, a funky shop and a cinema screening films most days; Pace , a wonderfully large space holding some top-quality exhibitions; Galleria Continua , another large space, below a towering, hard-to-miss brick chimney.