Chinese Language Blog

A Trip Through 798 Art District – Part One Posted by on Mar 25, 2011 in Culture

Originally built as a military factory district back in 1954, the area that is now known simply as 798 is a thriving artistic community right in the heart of Beijing. While Cultural Revolution era propaganda can still be seen throughout the district, you will also stumble upon controversial works from Chinese artists such as the Gao brothers, whose art is anything but pro-Communist. With most of the galleries open and free to the public, 798 is a great place to take in modern Chinese culture without breaking the bank. Small shops and cafes abound, so you can easily spend an entire day there. While Steve has previously covered 798 in a written post, I figured I might as well put the 2 hours+ of video footage I have from there to good use. Here is the first part of “A Trip through 798 Art District”:

以前,这里有很多工厂。现在有很多画廊 – Yǐ qián, zhè li yǒu hěn duō gōng chǎng. Xiàn zài yǒu hěn duō huà láng.
Before, there were many factories here. Now there are many art galleries.

七八九艺术区 – qī jiǔ bā yì shù qū
798 Art District

你可以散散步,欣赏艺术品. – Nǐ kě yǐ sàn sàn bù, xīn shǎng yì shù pǐn.
You can go for a stroll, and admire the art work.

雕塑 – diāo sù

画 – huà

抽象艺术 – chōu xiàng yì shù
abstract art

爱丽丝梦游仙境 – Ài lì sī mèng yóu xiān jìng
Alice in Wonderland

爱因斯坦 – Ài yīn sī tǎn

耶稣 – yē sū

变压器 – biàn yā qì

毛主席 – máo zhǔ xí
Chairman Mao

在北京,798是流行的地方. – Zài běi jīng,798 shì liú xíng de dì fāng.
In Beijing, 798 is a popular place.

你可以买书在路上或者在书店. – Nǐ kě yǐ mǎi shū zài lù shàng huò zhě zài shū diàn.
You can buy books on the road or in a bookstore.

咖啡馆 – kā fēi guǎn
coffee shop

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


  1. thenakedlistener:

    Not wishing to sound like a grammarfag, this:

    > 你可以买书在路上或者在书店.
    > Nǐ kě yǐ mǎi shū zài lù shàng huò zhě zài shū diàn.
    > You can buy books on the road or in a bookstore.

    would be better translated as:

    You can buy books IN THE STREETS or in a bookshop/bookstore.

    Just my twopence worth. Good job though.

    • sasha:

      @thenakedlistener Good point… Sometimes I make some mistakes in translation. I’m used to saying 路上 as in “我在路上”, or “I’m on the road/on my way.”

  2. thenakedlistener:

    Hmm, interesting. You could be turning into Chinese (if you aren’t already one).

  3. thenakedlistener:

    Actually, it just occurred to me 街上 would be the more natural way of saying it rather than 路上, although I appreciate that roads and streets are called 路 rather than 街 nowadays.

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