Spray Paint Beijing
In the West, graffiti is associated with Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Lady Pink, and others featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary, Exit through the Gift Shop. Their image is one of vandalism that can only be performed in secret during the darkness of night. In Beijing, most graffiti remains constrained to the streets of 798, the city's famous art district in which spray-painted works can be seen on almost every visible wall. One of the most well-known lies along the Jing Mi Lu highway where international and local artists alike cover a wall that was once dirty and drab. Exploring this area, which is also filled with contemporary galleries and numerous dining options, is a must when visiting. Grab some noodles to-go, sit outside, and admire works of art that lie not only within the numerous galleries but also those that adorn their outside walls. Get ready to spray paint Beijing:
Graffiti in China is, for the most part, apolitical because of strict government restrictions on freedom of expression. Street art found throughout the city offers messages with little or nothing to do with revolt or protest, getting rid of the strong rebelliousness and confrontational attitude commonly found in Western graffiti.
While you meander around the vibrant 798 district and admire the area's abounding pieces, stop by Café Flatwhite for a quick coffee break and enjoy their wide range of Western food items. Make sure to end your meal with a slice of their incredible homemade carrot cake.
If you're in the mood for some local Chinese dishes, head to Mian for hearty, bottomless bowls of noodles, - perfect after a long afternoon exploring the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA). Serving an array of cold and hot dishes, this tiny shop prides itself on the use of name-brand sauces and not using MSG. One of our favorites are the noodles with marinated duck leg. While one bowl is enough for most people, they will gladly give you another helping of noodles free of charge if you’re still hungry - slurp away!
798 Art District 4 Jiuxianqiao Rd Chaoyang, Beijing, China