Thursday, September 23, 2010

798 Art District

Last weekend I was at Beijing for a field trip. There I visited the 798 Art District. The area contains many contemporary art exhibitions, as well as small boutiques. The 798 is divided into 5-6 different smaller zones, and to go through all of them would take a whole day (if not more).

There, I looked at the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which is a project that is created to connect the art of Vietnam, Cambodia, and China. Even though the idea is very good, the exhibition seems to be quite low budget since there were only a few documentary videos and no artworks displayed.

I also went to the Ullens Center. Unfortunately I only had time to look at one exhibition, Zhang Huan’s “Hope Tunnel.” The display, situated in a huge room, depicts a terrible train wreck scene. It was said that the artist bought a wrecked train from the Sichuan earthquake and refurbished it to create the display. The message he wanted to send was that humans may be small and weak in the face of nature; however, we are not powerless, and there is still hope in the aftermath of disaster as each and every person can make the difference. I interpret this statement to encourage philanthropy to support the Sichuan earthquake. Zhang Huan’s exhibition really moved me.

After 4 hours of venturing, I checked out several boutiques and bought a music box at the end.

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