--Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary.
--meals as listed in the itinerary
--Private English-speaking tour guide and private vehicles for transfers & sightseeing.
--Free visits to handicraft factories.
--Service charge & government taxes.
--Free-bottled mineral water.
--Tips to the guide or driver
Friendly Note from Way to Beijing:
--The above tour is tailored for you exclusively. You will enjoy Private car, driver and English speaking tour guide.
--Lunch is not refundable if you do not need it.
--The sunshine is very strong in summer time. Sunglass is useful.
--Photograph is not permitted in some area. Our tour guide will give you notice.
--Visit to Chinese arts shop is included. These shops are registered in National Tourism Bureau. There is no fake product in these shops. You may buy some Chinese gift in these places. Please let us know if you are not interested in this. We will cancel the shop
--Visit according to your request; but no refund will be made.
798 Art District
798 Art District is located in the Dashanzi area, to the northeast of central Beijing. It is the site of state-owned factories including Factory 798, which originally produced electronics. Beginning in 2002, artists and cultural organizations began to divide, rent out, and re-make the factory spaces, gradually developing them into galleries, art centers, artists' studios, design companies, restaurants, and bars.
It became a "Soho-esque" area of international character, replete with "loft living," attracting attention from all around.
Bringing together contemporary art, architecture, and culture with a historically interesting location and an urban lifestyle, "798" has evolved into a cultural concept, of interest to experts and normal folk alike, influential on our concepts of both urban culture and living space.
798 stands for much more than a three digit number: in Beijing these numbers symbolize the country's cutting edge art movement led by the Chinese vanguard, unchained artistic personalities with alternative life goals.This is no doubt that the 798 art district is a distinct tourist destination. It is a tourist place that will give real pleasure when visiting Beijing.
Song Zhuang Artist Village---China's Modern Art Zone
Song Zhuang Artist Village, located in Tong Zhou District (eastern suburbs of Beijing), is the most famous and biggest artist community in Beijing. Now nearly 400 artists live in Song Zhuang, which is seen as synonymous with the Chinese avant-garde not only in China but also in other countries.
From the beginning, most of the residents in the village have been avant-garde painters. Now the area accommodates one of the largest artists' communities in China, drawing painters of varying styles; ranging from the avant-garde to the academic. Sculptors and photographers also call the area home. Village painters believe that the quiet and independent environment in the countryside not only brings them closer to nature, but also allows for independence and the intellectual distance they feel is needed for the distraction-free practice of art. For many of the village artists, nothing is more important than a steady, unhurried, and unrestricted life. They live as they like and each day they are among friends.
From Hostile to Flourishing
Coming from different areas of China, most of the artists don't have a stable job, but rather live by selling their works.
In the early 1990s, freelance artists from all over China began to come and settle in Song Zhuang. At that time, the old villagers were hostile to these newcomers, which was unavoidable in such a stable and closed village. Painters had to pay much more than other villagers at the time whenever the village built roads or installed ammeters (electricity meters).
After 2000, this condition greatly changed. Painters gradually obtained a relatively equal status in the village. Now, whenever some important things happen, some painters with a high prestige even are invited to discuss with the villagers.However, the life in the countryside is not as simple as one might imagine. With more and more artists flooding into this Song Zhuang, the house prices here are increasing year by year. For most of the artists, their life's burdens are heavy; some of the painters have had to move away. Nevertheless, innumerable young painters view Song Zhuang as a holy land. It seems that living at Song Zhuang denotes a special status. Moreover, success by some of the "pioneers" has attracted more "successors."
As Beijing's biggest painters community, Song Zhuang has built several huge art centers, and eventually some important art museums and corridor will also enter the village.
Painters' Special Lives
Though painters come from different places and have different backgrounds, when they arrive at Song Zhuang, they all become "freelance artists."
Artists like to call themselves "village people." They live in farmhouses and share sunlight, land, and air with common farmers. They love old furniture, and raise crude and atrocious dogs. When they scold dogs, their sounds are often mixed with the farmer-like tone, sly and proud.
Different from other citizens, Song Zhuang artists like dropping by for a visit, chatting, and playing cards. They are extremely satisfied with the unrestrained village life.Most of the artists have a free life without rules. They sleep at daytime and work at night. They seldom read newspaper, listen to the music, or watch television. Computer is a rare gadget for them; they disdain to learn how to use it. What they are really interested in is talking about gossip and spreading rumors in their free time. Different people come to Song Zhuang with different dreams. Some want to make a pile of money, some want to get fame, and some just long for the tranquil atmosphere in the countryside.
Real Story of Xiao Bao Village
Xiao Bao Village, where there is gathered many talent artists, is the representative of the Song Zhuang Artist Village. Some of the painters at Xiao Bao Village have their own houses and gardens, while others just rent houses from the farmers. To show their personality, the painters make their houses and gardens different form each other, just like their different-style works. Far away from the mainstream, they defy tradition, and don't follow the usual rule. They paint what they like, but not what is popular. So their works are not academic. Besides some common painters, whose main job is drawing, there are still many "offbeat artists" in Xiao Bao Village. These people gave up drawing, and became businesspeople. They opened cafes in the village, or entered the painting business.
Some painters fully enjoy the leisure in countryside. They plant vegetables and flowers in the courtyard; some even raise fowls like other common villagers.
At present, the gap between the rich and poor are obvious in the village. Some of the artists, who have become known at home and abroad, are now frequent guests of international art shows, such as the Venice Biennale, and overseas collectors are acquiring their works. They enjoy a comfortable life alongside others respect and admiration.
Of course most painters of the villages still remain unknown and lead a simple life. For the poorest artists, their lives are not better than farmers. According to one artist his basic living standard is only three to four thousand yuan (US$362.40-483.20) a year. So some people run away, but still many people choose not to discard their "artist" title.
In Song Zhuang, the enthusiasm for creation has made interaction among artists, but poverty has at every moment brought trouble to most of them. Every freelance artist has had to rely on his or her own efforts to survive.
Destination: 798 Art District Song Zhuang Artist Village
Duration: 1 day
Tour code: BD-07
Price: From US $75/RMB 490
Features: Take you on an artistic journey
Availability: Everyday, but advanced booking is required!
--Pick you up from your hotel at 8:30 in the morning
--And transfer to 798 Art Zone,the heart of a growing art and culture community in Beijing,It will give real pleasure when visiting Beijing.
--A fabulous buffet lunch will be arranged for you.
--In the afternoon, you will explore the Songzhuang Art Village to see the artist life.
--You will be transferred back to your hotel around 17:00.