Neo-Realism in Dashanzi Art District

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 Ave Maria

An intriguing gallery entranceway – derelict and unassuming – caught my eye as we rolled into Beijing’s famed Dashanzi Art District. Or at least I thought it was a gallery. Upon closer inspection it turns out it was somehow even better!

I’m still convinced that this was an elaborate art installation, simulating a functioning storage space, serving as a hub for the work crews shoveling sand into nearby wheelbarrows and the guys wearing hardhats who were clambering in and out of an open manhole just across the street. It even had an interactive element, which I discovered when I offered to help shovel a bit. I thought I might be pushing my luck if I joined them down in the sewers though, so I’ll just have to save urban spelunking for another time.

After recording for a little while in the ‘gallery’ pictured above, I got shooed out just as I was taking this panoramic image, which only confirms for me that this was indeed some leading-edge contemporary art installation. And hey, the acoustics weren’t so bad either!