Top things to do and see in Beijing

Written by: Suleman Sultan

Beijing, a city 13 times the size of New York City, with a population over two times that of the Big Apple.
In a city that large one often wonders what to do, especially if one is limited on time.
Beijing not only offers a modern city life but it has many sites that offer traditional Chinese culture. After all it is the capital of one of the world’s oldest civilizations.

The Forbidden City
Built between 1406AD and 1420AD the Palace was home to China’s emperors until the Twentieth century. A major tourist attraction, many would recommend visiting the palace during the weekdays in order to avoid the huge crown of tourist and visitors that fill up the Palace on the weekends and holidays.
Entrance fees are quiet cheap ranging 40-60 Yuan, roughly 6-10 US dollars.

The Great Wall
Of course the most iconic image of China is the Great Wall. Located to the north of Beijing, it is one of the most visited sites in the world.
• Go during the weekdays
• If you’re planning to hike, bring good shoes
• Bring a map of someone who knows their way around ( yes it’s a road and you can’t get lost, but if you walk for miles and then get off at a certain point to venture off somewhere else, you’re going to regret it if you are lost in a wooded area)

Panjiayuan Flea Market
Located in the south east region of Beijing, the Panjiyuan Flea Market is home to over four thousand shop owners selling all kinds of hand crafted goods and merchandise. For those who want something unique and special to give to friends, family and coworkers this is the best place to find it.
Open Monday through Thursday 8:30am to 6:00pm and on the weekends 4:30am to 6:00pm, its one of the best places for both shoppers and tourists to spend their time, representing Chinese culture and craftsmanship.

Other locations

All though those mentioned above are rated as the most visited and memorable locations in China, there are still many other interesting places.

1. Tiananmen Square (known more for its infamy than anything else).
2. The Lama Temple (known for its Buddhist architecture)
3. Temple of Heaven (built around the same time as the Forbidden City it is decorated with Taoist symbolisms)
4. Niujie Mosque (the oldest mosque in Beijing built in 996AD)
5. Recently the Olympics Stadiums have become a tourist attraction (mostly just to take pictures of than anything else)
6. The Capital Museum (houses numerous collections of ancient Chinese arts and technologies)
7. 798 Space (a former military factory turned into an thriving artistic community)

Carsten Holler Exhibit at New York’s New Museum Turns Art into Interactive Fun

Written By: Catherine Wolinski

Last October, the New Museum in New York City presented Carsten Holler: Experience, the first New York survey of works by Carsten Holler, a German scientist-turned-artist who resides in Stockholm, Sweden. The exhibition, which will be open until Jan. 15, transforms multiple galleries into a world of research experimentation crossed with childhood fun. A firm believer in utilizing the architecture of the building where his art, its space, and its viewers will interact, the collection even includes a 102-foot slide that patrons can ride from the fourth to the second floors of the building.

Born in Brussels in 1961, Holler left his career as a scientist in 1993 to instead apply his knowledge and lab experience to

Carsten Holler: Experience slide installation at the New Museum

artistic concepts. Exploring themes such as safety, love, and doubt, Holler presents scenarios that force museum and museum goer into a conversation, connecting visitors to the environments he creates. By engaging the building as well as its inhabitants, Holler sends each person into multiple roles as they pass through each section of the exhibit, where they are faced with innovative structures, scenes, and tasks. Visitors are both the watchers and the watched as they make their way through the Experience Corridor, a stretch of space scattered with thought provoking activities that bring into question the conventional understandings of space, time and self.

By way of his participatory installations, Holler challenges human perception and logic by igniting, and perhaps overwhelming, the senses with interactive experiences.  Using the architecture of the building to map out these sensory events, Holler engages viewers with

The Mirror Carousel by Carsten Holler

the works of the past eighteen years of his career, chronicling numerous ventures that push the limits of human sensory perception. Such works include the untitled slide installation, which he describes as an “alternative transportation system,” Double Light Corner, a disorienting light installation that gives the impression the room is flipping back and forth, Mirror Carousel, a full-size swing merry-go-round that reflects and illuminates the space around it as it turns almost imperceptively, and finally, Psycho Tank, a “sensory deprivation pool” which literally puts the viewer into a pool—stripped naked—for a mind-altering out-of-body experience.

Carston Holler: Experience employs multiple disciplines to destabilize and reinvent viewers’ knowledge of the world around them, and how they fit into it. By using the scientific method in conjunction with his futurist design, Holler’s art forces viewers to see, feel, and understand art and space in a new way.

The MoMa in New York adds ‘@’ to their Collection of Fine Art

The Museum of Modern Art in New York

Museum of Modern Art in New York

Today, the prestigious Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York announced the addition of the @ symbol to their collection, which they bought for the cheapest price imaginable: absolutely nothing. According to Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator in the museums Department of Architecture and Design, this newest item is the only thing in the museum that is quite literally priceless. And, while there is some doubt circulating the artistic validity of this particular addition, the Moma articulated the reasoning behind this unexpectedly controversial decision:

“The appropriation and reuse of a pre-existing, even ancient symbol–a symbol already available on the keyboard yet vastly underutilized, a ligature meant to resolve a functional issue (excessively long and convoluted programming language) brought on by a revolutionary technological innovation (the Internet)–is by all means an act of design of extraordinary elegance and economy.”

The newest addition to the MoMa collection

Needless to say, web-based discussion on the subject is rampant, with a majority of individuals focusing mostly on the symbol’s significance in e-mail, and it’s convenient prevalence in social-media style communication (i.e. Facebook and Twitter). As such companies battle to become the public’s primary online identity providers, the @ symbol could be much more than just a work of art, it could be the future seed of a mega-dispute.

Hip Hop Documentary Screened at Akron Art Museum in Ohio

Akron Art Museum

Yesterday, the Akron Art Museum in Akron, Ohio held a free screening of Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, a documentary film by long-time hip-hop fan, Byron Hurt.  This film was one of the official selections of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, and is a very personal journey beyond the bling, which strives to paint a well-rounded picture of the complex blend of masculinity, sexism and homophobia through the eyes of aspiring rap artists, the fans who attendhip-hop events all over the country, and those who have gained fame as esteemed hip-hop celebrities. Hurt uses interviews with hip-hopcelebrities like Russell Simmons, D12, Fat Joe, KRS-ONE, Dougie Fresh, Talib Kweli, 50 Cent, Clipse, Sarah Jones, Toni Blackman, Chuck D, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes, to explore how modern-day hip-hop culture influences present-day society.

It was presented in association with the Akron Art Museum exhibit Pattern ID, due to artists in the show, like Kehinde Wiley, Mark Bradford and iona rozeal brown, who were inspired by hip-hop culture, and found ways to incorporate it into their own works of art.

Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes

Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes is a significant discussion concerning one of the most influential art forms of our generation; fortunately, the folks at the Akron Art Museum aren’t the only ones to see the value of this independent film, since it is also going to be used in a nation-wide outreach campaign, made possible by Firelight Media, the Independent Television Service, God Bless the Child Productions, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Twenty-First Century Foundation.

Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit Showcases the Abstract

Woman Looking At Blank Frame

What does it mean?

A recent exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit wants everyone to care less about what art means and more about what it inspires. Their vision uses abstract art to instill emotion, and not to stoke an onslaught of questions; therefore, out of the who, what, where and why of things, all that anybody gets to know is the name of the artist. Afterall, according to Mark Stryker, an Art Critic for the Detroit Free Press, “Art isn’t about the answers, it’s about the questions.”

This collection of extra-abstract art was devised for inspiring – not inquiring. The artists felt that too many art enthusiasts were so infatuated with backstories and hidden meanings that they never reflected upon the art itself; in other words, art is an emotional creation, and it fails to intrigue if everyone is told what to think. A visitor to this exhibition will feel like a blind man in a dark room, looking for a black cat that doesn’t exist; or at least, that’s what the frank title wants you to think.


Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit

So, if you like to read the biography, then this collection might not be for you. But don’t skip it all together, since it’s always good to exercise the mind and stretch the imagination. Besides, maybe after checking out Rachel Harrison’s 58 picture meditation on evolution, you’ll come back with even more questions than you ever thought possible.