Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The 798 Art District

The 798 Art District was very different than what I expected. I had imagined it to be similar to an art district in a city like New York, or some place where there are a few blocks filled with high quality art. When I was in the district I felt confused, hot, and mislead by what other people said, but when I was able to reflect on my visit in the evening I had a very different opinion.The thing that is so unique about the 798 Art District is that the art is everywhere; it may be the graffiti on the wall, or an odd statue on the street side. Also, the 798 Art District inhabits an old Soviet-Communist neighborhood. The unique mixture between Soviet and Asian influence creates a distinctive atmosphere. I felt that the most interesting things I saw were the images in the street with wires hanging, run down alley ways, etc. It is an area that creates art as well as display it.

Art can take on many forms and roles. The 798 Art District is, in itself, art; it allows individuals to express thoughts in inimitable ways. One exhibit I found to be particularly thought provoking was the 798 Space. The gallery displays an exhibit portraying the day of a modern prostitute in Beijing. The woman wrote a depiction of her day’s work, while a photographer took photos of her face every few minutes during that day. The portraits circled the room as they documented the physical and emotional transformations with the passing of time. Each part of her day could easily be seen by the different makeup, hairstyles, and attitude that she employed. If photos from different hours (or even minutes) were compared, you would not be able to recognize her. This woman’s attitude towards her work, the differences in photographs, and my perception of the industry created a complex reaction to this exhibit that I can not clearly express in a few words.

The wires lining the wall outside an art gallery.

Looked up when walking the streets and saw this.

Graffiti that says something along the lines of "Don't graffiti here. If you don't listen then we will spank you!"

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