“798” Art Zone is located in Dashanzi area, to the northeast of central Beijing. It was originally the site of factories including 798, a factory that produced electronics. The factory area is architecturally simple and honest, emphasizing utility. Its massive ducts and bright windows are seldom seen elsewhere. The halls were built using Soviet aid in the 1950s, with East Germany providing architectural and industrial design.
Slogans of different ages on the walls, mottled red-brick wall, crisscross pipelines, scattered orderly industrial plants, all these things make this zone full of artistic breath. Fashion visitors and uniformed workers form unique scenery, representing history and reality, industry and the arts perfectly fitting here. This zone covers a total construction area of 230,000 square meters. It assembles many cultural elements, such as art exhibition spaces, galleries, design studios, fashion shops, artists’ studios, restaurants etc.
Development of 798 Art District
798 Art Zone was once the place for Beijing North China wireless joint equipment factory (namely, 718 Joint Factory). It was designed and built by the experts of former G.D.R in the 1950s. The Joint Factory was designed to be built in 1952 and constructed from 1954. In October 1957, it was put into production.
In April, 1964, the supervisor units canceled the organizational system of 718 Joint Factory and divided it into different parts. It established 706, 707, 718, 797, 798 and 751 factories. In December, 2000, the former six factories of 700, 706, 707, 718, 797, and 798 were reorganized and incorporated into Beijing Sevenstar Science and Technology Co., LTD. To cooperate the reforming plan of Dashanzi Area, the Seven Group rented out these needless plants for short term. For 798 Zone has ordered designing, unique style of Bauhaus architecture and convenient traffic, it attracted many art organizations and artists came to rent the vacant plants and transformed them.
Beginning in 2002, artists and cultural organizations came here and began to divide, rent out and remake the factory spaces, gradually developing it into several galleries, art centers, artists’ studios, design companies, restaurants, and bars. As the earliest area where the art organizations and artists moved in the original area of 798 Factory, this place was named as Beijing 798 Art Zone.
In 2006，Beijing 798 Art Zone was listed respectively as one of the first concentrations of cultural creative industry by Beijing Civic and Chaoyang District Government and also named as “Beijing 798 Art Zone Cultural Creative Industrial Base of Zhong Guan Cun Electronic City” by Zhong Guan Cun management committee. The atmosphere as a “Creative Zone, Cultural Park” is forming.
Graffiti in 798 Art Zone
On April 28, 2007, “2007 Beijing 798 Art Festival” at 798 Art District hosted by Beijing 798 Art Zone Management Office and participated by numerous arts organizations of this area kicked off. The two-week festival activities include opening ceremony, themed exhibitions, Art Forums, League exhibitions and other exhibitions organized by each agency in the art zone, as well as the closing thank party. This festival attracted nearly 190,000 domestic and foreign tourists to visit 798 Art District.
It became an area of international character, bringing together contemporary art, architecture and culture with a historically interesting location and an urban lifestyle which attracting attention from all around. “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.
In the future, the 798 office will attract lots of famous artists and art organizations from domestic and abroad, according to the instruction policy of “protection, exploration, stability, development”, to build Beijing 798 Art Zone as the center of the exhibition and trade of culture and art.
Exhibitions in 798 Art District
There are multiple art exhibitions in 798 Art District average daily. To promote 798 Art District and the concept of contemporary art, to expand 798 Art District as a vibrant and influential cultural and creative industry gathering area, 798 Art District, to promote development and prosperity of this zone, “798 Art Festival” was held in 798 Art Zone every year since 2006.
798 Art District, one of the cultural and creative industry gathering area in Beijing, gathers a large number of artistic and cultural celebrities, many arts organizations and many of the fashion business. 798 Art District shows unique artistic atmosphere to the world through different forms every day. For example, the major international brands such as Sony, Motorola, Italy DIOR, Omega, BMW, China Yahoo Portal etc. held promotional activities here. It has become perfect place for merchants who advocate fashion.