798 Art Zone is a district in Beijing entirely dedicated to art. It is a former industrial area which was built in the 1950’s in accordance with "Bauhaus principles". The industrial use was abandoned with the closure of a production plant on the site in the end of the 1980’s.
The site is huge with about 650.000 square meters of industrial buildings, courtyards, roads and interstitial spaces. Starting from 1995 artists and professors of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, in search for cheap spaces to work and exhibit their works of art, moved their ateliers into the abandoned buildings. It was this informal art community that started to attract more and more artists and galleries. Art, acted as a parasite, colonized the industrial buildings, inside and outside becoming the main attraction and the main economic source of the 798 district.