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798 Art Zone

798 Art Zone or Dashanzi Art District, is 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.
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. The buildings are located inside alleys number 2 and 4 on Jiuxianqiao Road, south of the Dashanziqiao flyover.

The original 798 was a once state-owned industrial plant established in the 1950s. The plants were abandoned in late 1990s.
Inspired by the SOHO area, which provided a refuge for artists in New York City in the 1960s and 70s, some artists moved to the warehouse lofts in 798 in 2000.

Cheap rent, quiet surroundings rapidly turned the area into a paradise for artists. More artists moved in and established dozens of art studios, galleries as well as book stores, cafes and restaurants.

798 Art Zone doesn't have a gate or a boundary. When you see a big red post written with "798", you know you have arrived at the art paradise.

Walking along the road, doodles on a low brick wall give you the first sign of the artistic flavor of the area. Heading forward for another 200 meters, you arrive at the key area of the art zone.

The area is separated into rectangles by small lanes. Big posts stand at crossroads, pointing you to the studios or shops on each street. The warehouse lofts with large windows, high ceilings of 798 factory are well kept. Artists only renovated the interior.

Visitors can enjoy colorful ink paintings and prints of the master, free of charge. It's really a good surprise for many art fans like Wang Yifang.

798 Art Zone provides a platform for artists to display their works and offers opportunities for art fans to get close to artists and their works.

Soul Collection Art is a gallery that exhibits original pottery works. Established in 2001, it's one of the first shops to settle in 798 area.

The glass gate and walls make the gallery bright and neat. In the main exhibition hall, many pottery figurines of Japanese women in traditional kimono are on display. The comical but not exaggerated looks on their faces bring smiles onto every visitor's face.

Theses potteries are made by an artist Zheng Yukui. He makes pottery figurines in typical apparels in a specific era. There have a smaller live pottery hall, displaying works by Soul Collection Art studio, such as all kinds of cups.

The cups are originally designed and they are beautiful and functional as well. All of them were made at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Celsius. They can be used to drink water, tea or alcohol.

The Soul Collection Art has opened three such shops. All of them are in the 798 Art Zone.

The artistic atmosphere in 798 matches our idea for making pottery. It's tranquil, and distant from noises or uproar. This helps people to fall in love with our pottery, like cups, teapots and small decorations.

No matter who you are and what you like, 798 Art Zone will give you surprises. You might find a biography of an artist that you have been looking for a long time. You might find an original sculpture that is perfect for your room.

798 Art Zone is also home to many book stores. Time Zone 8 is one of them. It sells books on art, architecture design and even fashion, which are published around the world. The book store has cultivated many loyal customers.

The art flavor of 798 area has made almost every visitor, foreign or domestic, become addicted.

It's certainly a quite impressive area, when we came in, it's such a vast area. There are galleries everywhere. It's a big education of arts.The whole place is embracing an artistic flavor. Every space and corner is nice and distinctive.

It might not compose a complete and lively artistic area without cafes and restaurants. Don't worry. 798 has many of them.

You can kill a couple of hours reading books or just chatting with friends in the leisurely and artistic cafes. Of course, you can also have a good meal in the well decorated restaurants.

Come to 798, if you are an art fan. You won't be disappointed.

Edited by Athena Lee
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