Beacon of Chinese contemporary art

By Alexis Hooi | China Daily | Updated: 2019-06-22 09:30
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The 798 zone has transformed from artists' enclave to international hub of the arts. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

Celebrated hub in capital becomes symbol of nation's growing cultural influence.

Editor's Note: This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. This is part of a series looking at the significant developments in various fields as the country increases its interaction with the world.

The smokestack rises behind the building's refaced red stucco facade studded with black-grille windows, a remnant of the original factory that points to the area's industrial roots.

The ground floor walls of the newly renovated museum in Beijing have also been demolished, leaving only supporting columns and glass wraparounds that allow visitors to see the various activities throughout the complex.

"It's about making more connections, about tearing down walls," Philip Tinari, the director and CEO of the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, told China Daily.

The museum lies at heart of the capital's 798 Art Zone and its latest developments reflect in many ways the area's transformation from artists' enclave to international hub of the arts. For many in the arts community, the zone is now considered a beacon of Chinese contemporary art's rise as a globally significant phenomenon. What is China's most celebrated art district is also becoming symbolic of a growing confidence and influence of Chinese cultural identity.

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