Friday, September 24, 2010

Beijing 798

Joon Nam
Sept 23, 2010

Planning for the weekend trip to Beijing, I felt somewhat rushed and
unprepared. I had been to Beijing as a part of a tour group before,
and it was precisely because of the fact that I had been to Beijing
that I was more anxious about this trip; I did not want to repeat what
I had done and make it a boring trip. However, the assuring discovery
of 798 through the class right before the trip gave me the last
comfort before leaving for Beijing. Faced with one of the historical
traffic jam in Beijing, the first day to Great Wall was very draining.
However, things have gotten much more interesting the second day when
my group went to Nanluogu Hutong and to the Olympic park in the
evening. I was able to witness the modernizing forces transforming one
of the most traditional cities in the world.

It hit home when I visited 798 the next morning. The creativity and
capabilities I saw made me realize that perhaps China is no longer
just a follower of modern trend but rapidly becoming the moving force.
The first exhibition that I stepped into was "Hope Tunnel" by Zhang
Huan at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA). The arrangement of
the train wreckage echoed the tragic event that took place 2 years ago
in Sichuan; the wreckage conveyed the chaos of the moment, yet in a
very beautiful ways that left me with intricate feelings. Afterwards,
I visited various exhibitions of the Creators Project hosted by Intel,
which showcased various works of technological art from artists all
over the world. Only inconvenience I faced during the visit at 798 was
that it was quite difficult to navigate the area. Although there were
maps, none of them were detailed enough to lay out the locations of
all the galleries and points of interest. Because of this, I feel like
I might have mis
sed out on many other things that are available in the area. However,
what I had seen during my short visit to 798 was enough to keep me
surprised and enthralled.

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