This weekend was the "Beijing Affordable Art Fair" in the so-called Space of the 798 Art District. This is a catory of works selling between about 1000 to 5000 US$. I was expecting this event to be something like a show of artistic talent. But when you take away the Cultural Revolution re-makes, the pseudo-intellectual social criticism, the plain copies of others, and the nude paintings, then there is not much left to look at. A handful, perhaps, but nothing really distinct. There are very good young painters in the pipeline, but they were not exhibited here.
798 is becoming more and more an entertainment district, which develops all kinds of disciplines from galleries, over design studios to theatres. Some people complain about this development, but I think by this it becomes actually more interesting. It is anyways a necessary change for the district to survive, because it can not compete with the real art centers. In terms of entertainment it adds nice elements and increases diversity of options to choose from (specially for those who do not like shopping malls, bars and KTV which you find more than enough in any Chinese city). Everything is here: from serious, over dramatic to funny.