798 A Chronicle of the Art Zone

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12th October 2002,“Beijing Afloat” the first exhibition of Beijing Tokyo Art Projects opened to the public, curated by FengBoyi, which was the first art exhibition at 798 Factory.


“798: A Chronicle of the art zone” is the first historical and archival exhibition to comprehensively present the journey of the development of the 798 Art Zone. Taking the world-renowned three numbers, "798" as a theme that embodies the tone and image of this area for international cultural exchange without borders, the subtitle, "a chronicle of the Art Zone" divides the exhibition in four parts, "Culture798", "Time 718", "Art 798" and "Story 798”. Among them, the parallel narratives along the linear progression on the different sections and levels of the art zone will unfold, highlighting the pivotal events and classic cases throughout the developmental journey of the 798art zone. With which, we would like to propose a logic of growth on a globally focused social phenomenon. In other words, it was with the joint forces and free developments of art institutions, the artists community, the enterprise of the “Seven Stars company”, the local government, public media, and international art community, the area worked towards an innovative path of self-renewed urbanization, that provides an alternative cultural practice to the cultural progress in post-industrial society of a globalized time.


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Exhibition poster of “Beijing Afloat”, 2002, provided by Tokyo Gallery


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13th April 2003, initiated by artists Xu Yong and Huang Rui and curated by Qiu Zhijie and Zhang Li, the comprehensive art event “Reconstruction 798” was held in 798 Space. This was the first time that 798 Art Zone has hosted such a large-scale art event in the Zone.


As an internationally renowned cultural phenomenon that took place in China, the level of social engagement in the development of the 798 Art zone has been unprecedented to this day, while the observations and comments on the 798 art zone remain multifarious. With more than five months of collecting and organizing source materials, the timeline to chronicle the 798 Art Zone had finally become apparent. Due to the limited exhibition sites and size, a selection of the exhibition content had to be made, which aims to present the originality of contemporary art practice in the798 Art zone as its basic social value. This exhibition only marks a beginning. With further and detailed field research and academic support, the shortcomings of this exhibition will be eventually completed. The academic forums, workshops and training projects held in conjunction to this exhibition are aimed at calling on broader social forces to explore the developmental models for the cultural and creative industries in China, and taking advantage of globalization to foresee the future of cultural and art exchange worldwide.


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24th May 2003, initiated by artists Xu Yong and Huang Rui, curated by Feng Boyi and Shu Yang, “Blue Sky Exposure”, an anti-SARS art event was held in Yizhuang Development Zone. On June 1st, it continued to be on display at 798 Space.



Exhibition Briefing

"798: Chronicle of the Art Zone" is divided into four units of parallel narratives, that present the social, artistic, industrial and historical overlaps along the art zone's timeline of progression.

 

Part 1: “Culture 798” (1999 – Now)

After the restructuring of the enterprise in 2000, the “Seven Star Group” created the hardware conditions for the entry of culture and art. In 2002, it began to welcome a large number of art institutions and artists, and gradually improved the district’s property management services. Under the context of government participation and management, extensive media coverage, high international anticipation and participation, and the hosting of the Beijing Olympic Games, the 798 Art Zone has become the urban cultural landmark of the new Beijing.


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Fromthe opening of the third  “Gallery Weekend Beijing”, 2019, Provided by Gallery Weekend Beijing. Photo by ZHAOBaojun


As the industrial power and future plannerfor the development of 798 Art Zone, “Seven Star Group” supports large-scaleart activities and the development of contemporary art in establishing acultural and creative industry that promotes national cultural strategy, andbuilds a world-class cultural and art center.


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French President Emmanuel Macron (front row, first from the right), General Manager of the SevenStar Group Wang Yanling (front row, second from the right), artist Huang Rui (front row, second from the left), and Rong Rong(front row, first from the left) in the UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art, the798 Art Zone, 2018. Provided by Sevenstar Co.



Part 2: “Time 718” (1951 – 1999)


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Premier Zhou Enlai’s Instructions on WangZheng’s Report on the Establishment of Two Factories on January 29th, 1951.


"Time 718" as a pre-history of the development history of "798 Art Zone", the exhibition site reproduces the 720o panorama of the original 798 old factory kiln(present-day Ullens Center for Contemporary Art) with RVR1.0 static naked-eye VR original patent technology, that provides an intuitive understanding of the spatial environment and historical development logic of the 718 old factory in the 798 Art Zone, and forms a causal link between the first part and the time-space flashback. In the exhibition, historical documents, pictures, objects, and oral videos were used to experience the important history of the718 Joint Factory.


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In front of the dormitory of the 718 Joint Factory (now opposite to No. 2-4 Jiuxianqiao Road), there was a football field-sized open space where the factory often hosted various events including sports meetings. The picture shows a motorcycle show held here in 1960. Provided by Thinking Hands



Part 3: “Art 798” (1997 – Now)



Exhibition site of Sui Jianguo’s works, the Second Beijing Dashanzi International Art Festival,2005, Photo by Qu Jingsheng

 

“Art 798” describes the development process of the international contemporary art institutions and artist studios in the early stage of the formation of the 798 Art Zone. It shows the historical process of the 798 Art Zone that opens to the world-famous new Beijing city landmarks with internationalized original contemporary art. In the exhibition, the documentary materials of the important art institutions and the related original works of the artists in the development process of the 798 Art Zone are presented. The 798 Art Zone presents the cultural and original spirit of contemporary art as its core and spiritual power.


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Xu Bing’s solo exhibition, UCCAUllens Center for Contemporary Art, 798 Art Zone, 2018, Provided by UCCA


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Interior view of the Beijing Commune, 2018, Photo by Qu Jingsheng


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Outside view of Galerie Urs Meile, Providedby Galerie Urs Meile


Part 4: “Story 798”

"Story 798" adopts the“Monogatari” approach of “one object one story”, to narrate the original cultural industry concept and commercial status from the nearly one-tenth of the more than 500 entities that are stationed in 798, their education, business and social services, and their diverse and cultural creative serves and affection, to show 798’s gathering of social vitality that aims to enrich urban living and improving urban tourism and culture.



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Yuan


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Liang


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Xiao


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Chuan


No.40: Forgive Restaurant advocates that we should“move all the bricks that stop the world to grow”. They work on providing the disabled a promising platform moving into the future, offering systematic teaching and training, helping the disabled to realize their self-value throughout. As a result of personal accomplishment, they will tend to achieve substantial improvement in the quality of their livings.



In Residence Since: April, 2018

Location: 798 Art District Block B



 

Exhibition Forum

The theme of the academic forum for the exhibition “The globalization of 798”, explores the following content:

1. 798 and the post-industrial culture: 798Industrial transition and technological art, global cultural strategy

2. 798 and urban culture: Cultural landmark and cultural and tourism industry

3. Operation and management of contemporary art: the operation of the art district, large-scale event planning, andmanagement



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From the forum of the third “Gallery Weekend Beijing”,2019. Provided by Gallery Weekend Beijing



 


Workshop

The workshops expand for different groups of visitors including children, adults, and elderlies, that involve the following content,

1. 798 Art Zone memorabilia and archival protection and research studio

2. Art management workshop

3. Exhibition review and translation workshop

4. Art media workshop

5. Art experience workshop




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Beijing Art Summit,2019, Photo by ZHAO Baojun



 

798: A Chronicle of the Art Zone

Dates: October 5, 2019 to April 30, 2020

Venue: Buildings A07& A08, 798 ArtZone, Beijing

Organizer: Beijing Sevenstar Science &Technology Co., Ltd.

Official Media: 798 Art

Curator: SHU Yang

Associate-curator: CHENG Dapeng

Exhibition Coordinator: QU Jingsheng, HEXiaoming

Assistant Curator: TANG Li

Exhibition Research: DU Yuhang, HEHonghong, WANG Qixuan, WANG Yao, ZHANG Quan

Visual Design: Wang Chao

Exhibition Consultant: ZHANG Qi

Exhibition Design: DO Design

Participated artists: Huang Rui, Xu Yong, Li Xiangqun,Sui Jianguo, Cang Xin, Rongrong&Inri, Li Songsong, Sunyuan+Peng Yu, ZhaoBandi, Wu Xiaojun, Shi Xinning, Zhang Xiaotao, Xing Junqin, Ma Shuqing, Fu Lei,Mao Lizi, Zhu Yan, Shi Jinsong, Wang Mai, Chen Qingqing etc.