August 11, 2009

798 Art District

Avant garde and trendy are usually words that come to mind when people are visualizing me, but in Beijing they are often associated with the 798 Art District. East German architects created the factory space in the Bauhaus style of design. At the cutting edge of China's cultural scene, the pedestrian friendly zone is a haven for creative types.  Beijing's artistic community found a home in the formerly deserted warehouse area. Art galleries, boutiques, and cafes are peppered among the austere old buildings. Modern art, such as strange sculptures of mutants, line the alleyways.

There is also a Nike Basketball facility, where a crowd had gathered to watch the action on court. A large picture of Lebron James adorns the exterior as China's basketball sensation Yao Ming is sponsored by rival Reebok. Nike, Reebok, and Adidas with its "Impossible is Nothing" slogan are busy combating China's homegrown athletic apparel company Li-Ning and their incomparable catchphrase "Everything is Possible". Fortunately, the contemporary artwork on display in 798 shows much more creativity.

"Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in." - Amy Lowell