Over on the northeast edge of Beijing, the Dashanzi district represents the more modern face of the capital. In a de-commissioned industrial zone of cavernous East-German-built factories, an array of hip galleries, studios, cafés, and bookstores has sprung up. At its heart is the 798 Space, where 1950s Bauhaus walls emblazoned with red Maoist slogans form a backdrop for cutting-edge conceptual art, painting, design, and sculpture: Ai Wei Wei has a space here, along with most of the city’s other trend-setting BoBo (‘Bourgeois-Bohemian’) set. Don’t expect to pick up any bargains – prices are on a par with Paris and London – but the area makes an enjoyable introduction China’s contemporary art scene.
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