Tourists flock to a shuttered 798

created: 2010-02-22

Following reports that this year's temple fairs have been welcomed as less than inspiring, visitors to the 798 Art District during the waning days of the Spring Festival haven't had much luck either.

Tourists intent on browsing through 798's major galleries on the final official day of the Spring Festival found mostly locked doors and notices welcoming guests to return in March.

Art collectors and appreciators alike were left with little to do once they reached the expansive art park, and many expressed frustration that the art galleries remaining closed for the tail end of the holidays were simultane-ously advertising exhibitions said to be running through to the end of February.

Banners surrounding the The Iberia Center for Contemporary Art (ICCA) that advertised a "Asian Landmark— Toyota Art Project" group exhibition listed the exhibition as concluding on February 28.

When a Global Times reporter knocked on ICCA's shuttered front door (which bore no sign signifying a break), a rep drew open the gallery's garage-door-like entrance and said that the best time to return would be in March.

The exterior of the Chang Art gallery bore a giant advertisement for a group exhibition, "Remix," set to last until February 28. The gallery's door, located right next to the sign, was barred shut and bore a sign saying to return in March.

A sizable number of tour groups, couples and families were continuing to arrive well past noon, and had little to do other than to walk around and take pictures of the art district's public art. Small commercial stalls selling knickknacks and small galleries selling consumer art remained mostly open.

Calls placed to the 798 Art District organizing committee's office on Sunday went unanswered.

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