https://picasaweb.google.com/dianatan78/Feb242011#798 art zoneToday I had an opportunity to visit art district 798, that is about 10 km from us. Quote from space website.--Beginning in 2002, artists and cultural organizations began to divide, rent out, and re-make the factory spaces, gradually developing them into galleries, art centers, artists' studios, design companies, restaurants, and bars.
It became a "Soho-esque" area of international character, replete with "loft living," attracting attention from all around. Bringing together contemporary art, architecture, and culture with a historically interesting location and an urban lifestyle, "798" has evolved into a cultural concept, of interest to experts and normal folk alike, influential on our concepts of both urban culture and living space.
I went there with Jan. Jan lives in same apartment complex where we live and her son is 3rd grader in Canadian International school. Gabriel and Jason LOVE playing together and they have similar sense of humor. Anyway, Jan asked if I am busy today and if not , do I want to have lunch with her. I told her that NO i am not busy and YES lunch sounds great. She asked if I ever been to 798 , and since I heard so many good things about it and never been there yet, i said LETS DO IT.
Those who live in california and have ever been to Laguna Beach art festival have idea how this place looks like. But art zone is so much bigger, and lot more fun. There are 100ds of galleries, bars, restaurants. Art everywhere, some look like un organized mess, some super cool. Some boring art, but most of it is pretty damn cool. Since Jan is Chinese she speaks chinese, I had opportunity to hear from artists who were there about their work . I have my fave artists in china, and I was so happy to see that 2 of them had their galleries up. I mentioned Jan that YASHOW ( market, that sells all the fake stuff, ) I s also ripping off artists work and selling it there. Jan mentioned it to one of the artists , and he said that once he went to Yashow, and pretended that he is interested BUYING his own "art", ( fake stuff), he wanted to know prices and who makes it... haha. He was told art is 80 yuan ( about 11 dollars) and it is original.. HAHAHAHA... Well, his art sells for 800-50 000 Yuan or more so there you go.. ORIGINAL.. He said he can do nothing to control people profiting off his work. It is sad, but there is no way to control this kind of activity in China :(
I did buy couple of affordable smaller art pieces, and found perfect gift for Nick ( his 45th birthday is on 31st of March).. ;) When time is right I will let you know what it is, and why I bought it.
Also another mental note that I took was.. Asians love Sex, nudity, pornographic images, erotica and it is widely displayed in their art work. Some do it very classy way, some stay vulgar. Well, Jan and I both noticed that BUTT's are very popular focus points in many artists works. Only explanation I could come up with -- don't laugh, and my Asian friends who are reading this blog -- DON't BE MAD ;).. Since Chinese woman in general have flat butts ( yes), and asian guys love BUTTs , then they display the love for butts in their artwork. And oh boy, those butt s in their art were perfect. One of my fave artists Loui , whose works were up-- http://blog.sina.com.cn/yinxianggearts actually made his art about small feet, that have part in Chinese history , but those tiny feet were tied together with huge round butts. His art is amazing. AMAZING, and guy itself was full of life explaining why he does it, and he even showed us how tiny some of those tiny shoes that were made for those tiny binded ( spelling feet) . If you are interested in food binding check out this wiki about foot binding.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_binding
My feet started hurting after I saw those shoes up close and personal. Sadly I was not allowed to take any photos of his work:( But I encourage you to check out all links I post in this blog today.
Another artis who has been in my mind a lot lately is Fang Min http://shangzun.kuaile800.com/
I also purchased one of his smaller pieces ( baby faces with ladybug). His art is tibet monks inspired. BUGS and monks :D His gallery made me smile :D
798 zone is also great home for many great photographers. And I really wish I had more time to enjoy their work. But i fell in love with YangZi work. It was simple, but so beautiful.
Anyway. I felt good today. Art zone is in Beijing, but it does not feel like beijing at all. I love its vibe, people, food, mood... And today because of 798 I am in good mood :D