The flowing colors of 798 art district

Updated: 2013-09-27 08:11

By Zhang Yuchen (China Daily)

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Frantic negotiations

Up a steep flight of steps in dim evening light, a handful of women are busy with frantic phone-call negotiations at the Thinking Hand Studio, but Huang appears calm and eager to talk about the art zone, which he once initiated and tried to preserve.

In March 2007, on the orders of the Seven Star Group, the property company in the factory district, Huang was refused permission to rent studios, and was forced to move out of the zone.

"Like a speeding train lost to posterity, 798 has already missed out on the chance of standing eternally in the arts world," Huang said, pointing to a declining taste in cultural events and stalls in the art zone recently. "The next step is to know how to guarantee the quality of culture it presents."

Mao, the artist, also suggests that commercial development should take place outside the art zone.

"The value of the art zone needs to avoid being exploited inside but to be established outside," he said. "That is what the government should do."

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