Thursday, April 30, 2009
I've been wanting to visit the Factory 798 district of Beijing since we first arrived in China, but we didn't really have a good time to explore the place until last week. The galleries were on par with the Great Wall for me. That's not my characteristic hyperbole, either.
Liking 798 shouldn't be too much of a surprise for me, since I'm a sucker for a good gallery, and a giant sucker for an entire conflagration of good galleries. One of my favorite things was this gigantic installation we saw. I don't even know if installation is an appropriate word--it filled a room the size of a small auditorium. All of the parts of the room tied into the piece. The artist used the existing girders and beams in the room, all of the floor, and every part of the wall space. There was also a sculptor Erin and I were into named Li Chen. It's hard to get across the scale of his sculptures. They're gigantic. They make you feel dwarfed by them in the best possible way.
The good thing is that the gallery district exceeded all of my expectations about what we'd actually find. The bad thing is, I now want to go back there about 8 more times before we leave in the first week of July. Wait, do I even have eight weeks left? That's a strange realization. I can't believe we've already lived in China for almost 8 months. It doesn't seem possible. In any case, here are some pictures from our trip. Erin and I are both excited to go back to Beijing this weekend and get a chance to hang out with a friend of hers from Lawrence.