Beijing’s 798 Art District

Currently waiting for my connecting flight back to Singapore at Hong Kong International Airport while having a bowl of pork ribs ramen.

Spent my last morning/day in Beijing’s famous art district known as the 798 Art District. Love how quiet it is there! Probably the only place in Beijing that is not packed full of people.

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The 798 Art District is made up of a bunch of abandoned Soviet Union factories & warehouses that was supposed to be China’s answers to the high demand of electronic components. But the Russians had other projects going on and China turned to East Germany instead which explains the Bauhaus-influence architecture.

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The district is pretty huge and every single building and warehouse house either a gallery, art space, craft shop, design studio etc. There wasnt even enough time for me to see every exhibition and visit every gallery. There were also a lot of graffiti & random sculptures along the way and it was interesting to see China’s culture influenced art pieces.

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One of the good galleries/exhibitions I went to was Chao Yang’s. The work that he produced is so mindblowing. Its hard to imagine the kind of perfection and holographic 3D effect being created with pain with his talented hands.

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I loved the main street of the district where it was clearly divided into two by one main road. On one side was a long industrial looking tube that actually doubled up as toilets and vents from the used-to-be-factories and on the other were rows of art spaces. I saw a poster about David Hockney’s work and entered the space only to realised that it was only on last November.

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Sadly, I couldnt enter Yoko Ono’s exhibition that I happened to chance upon too. Not sure why. Got swooped into some lovely shops selling creative craft work and spent a pretty long time in these places getting stuff for the people I love back home & elsewhere. 387 379 378389390391392393

Headed back to centre of the city to walk around a bit more and got lunch at that treasure cove I discovered last night. 395 396

The egg fried rice is heavveeennnnn! The homemade taste of years and years on the wok from someone who has experienced life way longer and differently from me. I love how hospitable the old lady is. Her eyes lighted up when she saw the same face enter her quiet food stall again today.

So much emotions, thoughts, reflections & new knowledge and understanding acquired in the past week from my time in China. It was been amazeball and I really thoroughly enjoyed myself so much. I am sad to leave this wonderful but human-packed land.

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I got put on an earlier flight because there is a lot of fog in Hong Kong & they added a flight so that everyone can arrive in Hong Kong on time. I arrived at the airport at 6:50 pm and checked in at 7pm and got offered to be put on the earlier flight that was leaving at 7:30pm. I rejected their kind offer because it was way too rushed for me and I didnt want to run to my gate so hastily. But the people at the counter explained that if I took my original flight at 9:15pm, due to the fog I might actually miss my connecting flight back to Singapore from Hong Kong that was leaving at 1:10am. And so began the most nerve-wracking 15 minutes of my life trying to dash like lightning to my gate that was two terminals away because strangely the custom, bag checks and gates are located in different terminals. I think I was the last person to get on the plane, thank God I got there on time or everyone would be pissed. And thank God they kept my window seat heeehee. Window seat for life! Plus it wasnt a full flight, I think maybe 1/3 full so I got the entire row to myself woohoo!

I also only realised something really cute and peculiar in my last few minutes before I passed the immigration to be officially out of China.

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Hahahah! Love how they identify us as aliens. Thank you! My ramen is getting cold as I type so I am gonna focus on eating up my hot ramen before a good sleep on the flight home. Or maybe I might continue watching Pan on the entertainment set, continued from my previous flights. 再见!

 

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