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798 Art Zone has its own webpage, with some bilingual information on its history, and a street map: www.798art.org

Discovering My Wings

2014 April

Taking advantage of the new VISA rule in China whereby those stopping over can enter for 72 hours on the spot, I flew in and discovered the vibrant 798 Art Zone.

Located in Dashanzi in the Chaoyang District between 50-year-old decommissioned military factory buildings, its packed with galleries and cafes showcasing works by the city’s thriving artistic community. Plus a 3-D trick art museum, ideal for those with aspirations to become heavenly creatures!

Perhaps the most fun part of the zone is its street art; graffiti wings sprayed on walls, shapes of men and women mimicking enlarged toilet symbols that can be climbed in to and sculptures that can clambered on.

The opportunities for fun photos mean local youngsters queue up and play around the site, and they are all too happy to talk to newcomers and travelers. I met up with local couchsurfer Yimei Lee for some out-of-this-world shenanigans.