The 798 art district is located in the eastern Dashanzi neighborhood in Beijing. For anyone serious about contemporary art, a pilgrimage to 798 (also known as Dashanzi Art District) is a must.
Constructed in the 1950s, this compound was a joint venture between East Germany and China, accounting for the Bauhaus aesthetic of its structures. After years of decline, these factories got a new lease on life when Central Academy of Fine Arts professors rented them out as studios in the early 2000s. Artists and other creative organizations followed. As early as 2004, the area boasted 100 art galleries, and two years later, Factory 798 was deemed an official “art and culture district.”
If you tire of Olympic fever and can't stomach sites jammed with flag-waving throngs of tourists, don't despair. The factory zone has now been transformed into a bohemian oasis with dozens of galleries, a smattering of cafes, book stores, outdoor sculptures, and lots of bemusing graffiti splashed on the old factory walls.