Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Beijing - 798

'798 stands for much more than a three digit number: in Beijing these numbers symbolize the country's cutting edge art movement led by the Chinese vanguard, unchained artistic personalities with alternative life goals. Wild and unconquered attitudes waft inside 798's free and rambling atmostphere. '

I found this description on the internet, and although it's a bit overstated, I think it's a good description of the best bits of 798. I really enjoyed it. My visit was enhanced by the fact that Leon had been there twice before, so had already worked out what to ignore and the location of the best bits. It's a disused industrial area, still full of old warehouses and factories, that now continue a large variety of art works.

Unusually for me, I connected with most of the contemporary art!  And I felt that I understood the messages, or should I rather say that they had messages for me.      Perhaps not quite as wild or unconquered as some artists would like to think.

 Here is Leon looking at 'life through a rear view mirror'.    A number of the mirrors already had images in them, and some were left blank.

This next photo was taken inside a room filled with some sort of vapour that moved and changed colour as you walked through it.  It attacked most of your senses, as the floor and ceiling both changed sloping up and down.    It was very disorientating and I did panic for a while that I wouldn't find my way out.

I found this next installation quite eerie.  

I suppose it was a video exhibition.    There were lots of oval and round balls that had eyeballs projected onto them.  The eyes moved staring at you and blinking.  

Two talking heads!    Again a video installation onto oval shapes representing the faces.   Unfortunately I couldn't understand what they were saying, but it was very clear that they weren't listening to each other!!

There were a number of different exhibitions - that were interesting and challenging.  I've included those that were easy to photograph, but there were many more.     I'd love to go again and spend more time exploring.

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