The abundant and vibrant art scene is what I really enjoyed in Beijing. Contemporary art is blooming in this smoggy overcrowded city and its energy is infectious. I visited the 798 gallery district, were we saw the Hope Tunnel installation at the UCCA gallery where the the train is a genuine artefact from China’s 2008 Sichuan earthquake, responsible for the deaths of 68,712 people. In the Chaoyang District I visited the Li-Space gallery and saw the exhibition Get Moving, which seemed to be critical of the art star complex of Beijing. At the Art Today Museum i saw the large photographs of Yan Zhixiong and I went to the Red Gate gallery which is housed in an historic stone Tower. August is not the best time to visit the city because of the heat, pollution and the crowds at all of the major sites but since I had to change planes there anyway, I thought it was worth a look. I hooked up with my artist friend Sau Wai Tai whom i had met 4 years ago at an art residency on Toronto Island and she showed me around the city. I visited the Forbidden City and the Great Wall on my own and was swarmed by screeching children and their parents. I had better luck at the Lama Temple, which is a Tibetan Buddhist Temple and the visitors there came to pray and burn incense.

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